The MIT Center for Integrative Synthetic Biology will create the therapeutics of the future by integrating systems biology and synthetic biology. Systems biology, synthetic biology, and fundamental research in health-related applications are three major disciplines that have thrived in the last decade. These fields have pushed the frontiers of biomedical science with the development of high-throughput platforms for generating and analyzing systems-level data, unprecedented abilities to engineer biological systems, and significant advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease. However, due to the diverse expertise required in each discipline, these efforts have been largely independent from each other. Therefore there is a significant opportunity for the integration of systems biology, synthetic biology, and health-related applications in a single research center. Our core group of researchers at MIT is poised to spearhead efforts to overcome these challenges with the MIT Center for Integrative Synthetic Biology. A key feature of the proposed Center is our focus on interdisciplinary and collaborative research into next-generation therapeutics. Our major disease-related targets revolve around Cancer, Diabetes, and Infectious Diseases. Together systems biology and synthetic biology will contribute to significant advances in health-related applications. By integrating top-down systems views of disease with bottom-up synthetic construction of novel treatments, this community will create new disease therapies with the ability to integrate multiple inputs and deliver specific interventions. Numerous synergies in synthetic biology, systems biology, and health-related applications will be generated by the MIT Center for Integrated Synthetic Biology which would be difficult to achieve via solely independent investigator-led research efforts.

Public Health Relevance

Next-generation therapeutics for important diseases constitute the central thrusts of the MIT Center for Integrative Synthetic Biology. Our target areas include Cancer, Diabetes, and Infectious Diseases. All research efforts in the Center will be integrated into these three disease thrusts, which will bring together an interdisciplinary team of systems biologists, synthetic biologists, biomedical researchers, and clinicians.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-CBCB-3 (SB))
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Gerratana, Barbara
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Engineering
United States
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