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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Herbert M Sauro
BIOEN 498
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Topics of current interest in the field, offered as lectures, conferences, or laboratory. Offered: AWSpS.

Class description

This course offers an introduction and advanced course on system and synthetic biology. This course is designed for seniors and/or graduates who have an interest in bioengineering at the cellular network level. The first week will include a basic introduction to synthetic biology. The remainder of the course will then cover a variety of more advanced topics including metabolic engineering, case studies, control engineering theory applied to biology and signaling networks. Students will be introduced to the field of synthetic biology and its application in systems biology and applied engineering. Students will understand in quantitative terms the basic principles of operation of regulation at the cellular level, including metabolic, signaling and gene networks; discover how cellular networks can be reengineered, taking examples from the iGEM competitions and applications such as metabolic engineering; learn how to build computer models of cellular networks; appreciate that cellular systems are very noisy, particularly bacterial systems and how these can be modeled and studied experimentally.

Student learning goals

Learn about biological parts and their properties. Understand gene and enzyme action.

Learn about network structure and pathway engineering.

Understand how synthetic networks can be simulated, built and tested in a real organism.

Learn about manipulating DNA and measuring responses.

Learn how to construct computational models and use them to study network behavior. Understand the behavior of basic network motifs found in cellular and synthetic systems, including switches, oscillators, filters, logic and pulse devices.

Learn how to build complex modular networks in silico as part of a team project.

General method of instruction

A combination of lectures, assignments and dry and wet lab work.

Recommended preparation

Basic math and biology. Knowledge of at least one programming language, eg matlab

Class assignments and grading

A combination of calculation and computer based assignments.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Herbert M Sauro
Date: 11/13/2009