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Modeling, simulation, high-end computing and data analysis, for information-based knowledge discovery.
Combining engineering methods with molecular biology, leading to synthesis of new functional materials, molecular machines, and therapeutics.
A multidisciplinary and holistic view of the living systems that moves beyond molecular link scales to understand biological complexity at multiple levels.
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Synthetic Sciences

Combining engineering methods with molecular biology, leading to synthesis of new functional materials, molecular machines, and therapeutics.

Molecular evolution – the organizing principle of biology – has emerged as a process that can be experimentally harnessed and directed to solving challenging real-world problems. Through methodologies of synthetic biology, physics, and chemistry it may soon be possible for scientists to:

  • Fabricate living tissues and organs
  • Engineer photosynthesis and capture light for alternative energy sources
  • Build biocomputers
  • Reveal the origins of living systems through directed evolution projects

What is Life?

The physicist Richard Feynman often stated, “What I cannot create, I do not understand”. By this criterion, many of the most challenging foci of traditional science are still waiting to be understood. And the prospect of creation is our gateway into new frontiers of science and technology. We may ask, What is thought? What allows a pathogen to emerge and succeed? Where does evolution lead? What is life and how did it begin? The answers have never been closer to us than they are today. The answers will soon be grasped by those on the leading edge of computational and life science.

As physics brought forward alternative forms of energy and chemistry ushered in new generations of pharmaceuticals and materials, we are now witnessing a revolution in synthetic biology. The title itself captures crucial dynamics between scientific observation and control, highlighting our opportunity to build – to create! – beyond even the truly remarkable in biology. When integrated with the computational arm of this initiative, we will have joined theory and experiment, and established the foundation for Emory science to contribute to 21st Century society on an unprecedented scale.