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Department of Plant Sciences

EUSynBioS: growing networks in Synthetic Biology

The European Association of Students and Postdocs in Synthetic Biology (EUSynBioS) founded and chaired by Department of Plant Sciences Postgraduate Student Christian R. Boehm continues to attract international attention.

Half a year after its establishment, the student-led initiative embraces a membership base of several hundred students and postdoctoral researchers based in 15 European countries, is supported by an Advisory Board composed of 20 accomplished principal investigators (including Prof. Jim Haseloff and Dr Nicola Patron from Cambridge), and works closely with major partner organizations across the globe towards its overall goal: shaping and fostering a community of young researchers in synthetic biology by means of providing an integrative central resource for interaction and professional development.

Co-sponsored by the Cambridge-based OpenPlant initiative, the EUSynBioS Steering Committee recently participated in the SynBioBeta London 2015 conference, where the Association was introduced to an international high-profile audience and hosted a social event in the evening. An OpenDiscussion satellite workshop chaired by Christian on the second day was well-attended by students, principal investigators, and representatives from the UK research councils BBSRC, EPSRC, and the Dstl alike. He comments on the session: “We are hopeful that bringing students, principal investigators, and representatives from funding bodies into the same room like this will lead to new opportunities for the next generation of young researchers to be better involved in shaping the future of their discipline.” To foster collaboration and exchange among students and postdoctoral researchers in the field, Christian and colleagues are working towards an international symposium for the young synthetic biology community to be hosted in Europe in the near future.

Students and postdoctoral researchers active in synthetic biology can become Members of EUSynBioS by completing a short online form at


Christian Boehm with logo of EUSynBioS designed by Devang Mehta and William Shaw. Photo credit: SynBioBeta, 2015.