The UK Royal Society describes synthetic biology as “an emerging area of research that can broadly be described as the design and construction of novel artificial biological pathways, organisms or devices, or the redesign of existing natural biological systems."
Since the popularisation of the term “synthetic biology” over a decade ago, a new community of biological engineers has emerged and thousands of practitioners, students and entrepreneurs alike have joined this movement to “make biology easier to engineer”.
The Sarawak Biodiversity Centre will be hosting an evening talk on synthetic biology and how it presents as a new tool for industries on 29 June 2016, Wednesday at 7.30pm.
The talk will be held at the China House café located at the Old Courthouse Complex near Kuching Waterfront. Those attending the talk are advised to park their vehicles at Plaza Merdeka’s parking bays.
The speaker, John Cumbers, has been in the field of synthetic biology for over 10 years, working in the academia, government, startups and industry.
Cumbers is the founder of SynBioBeta, a global activity hub and community of entrepreneurs, thought leaders and investors for the synthetic biology industry.
Prior to setting up SynBioBeta, Cumbers worked with the National Space Agency, USA (NASA) for seven years on resource utilisation and sustainable technologies.
He was instrumental in starting NASA’s programme in synthetic biology. He has also been involved in multiple startups producing food for space and using microbes to extract lunar and martian resources.
Cumbers has received multiple awards and grants from NASA and the National Academy of Sciences for his work in the use and adoption of biological technologies.
During his talk in Kuching, Cumbers will review the field of synthetic biology, starting from an academic outreach pursuit to what is now a fledgling industry.
He will also touch on the latest wave of investment in the field, specifically in markets ranging from pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, chemicals, fuel and food which will allow for the replacing of fossil fuels with sustainable feedstocks.
This talk is targeted at industry players, particularly those in green technology and biofuels, as well as policy makers, researchers, university students and interested members of the public.
Those interested in attending the talk can register by sending an email to email@example.com or call 082-610610 to speak to Mr Ha-Mim Marzuki or Ms Asha Kaushal, before 28 June 2016. Seats are limited.