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The Official Oxford University Society of Synthetic Biology

SynBio in Oxford
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SynBio in Oxford


We are SynBio.Oxford, a student-run society of the University of Oxford.

Synthetic Biology Centre for Doctoral Training

The EPSRC & BBSRC Synthetic Biology Centre for Doctoral Training (SynBioCDT) is a 4-year doctoral programme that offers training in the new field of Synthetic Biology, the “Engineering of Biology”. This centre is a collaboration between the Universities of Oxford, Bristol and Warwick.

Applications can be made through any of the three collaborating institutions. All students will spend most of their first year in Oxford and will then rejoin the institution to which they applied to complete their doctorate.

Oxford iGEM team

Since 2014, Oxford has entered a team into the iGEM competition. The iGEM competition is an annual, world wide, synthetic biology event. Teams comprise members from a variety of scientific subjects and work all summer long to build genetically engineered systems using standard biological parts known as ‘BioBricks’. iGEM teams carry out practical research and experimentation, creating sophisticated projects that are positive contributions to the world. Projects aim to solve problems within a specific field in need, including diagnostics, healthcare, agriculture and energy. After completion of design, students are invited to showcase and present their projects at the annual Giant Jamboree in Boston, MA for a period of 5 days.

2014 team - A novel bio-remediation approach

2015 team - A targeted approach to antimicrobial resistance

2016 team - Prebiotic drugs to combat disease

2017 team - A cell-free diagnostic for congentical Chagas disease

2018 team - Probiotic E. coli as a therapeutic for inflammatory bowel disease

2019 team - Probiotic Lactobacillus to detect and kill C. difficile


BIOMOD is biomolecular design competition in which an Oxford team competed in for the first time in 2017. Undergraduate teams compete by developing projects in the self-assembly of biological macromolecules into nanoscale machines. Previous winners have used genetic material and proteins as building blocks to create simple artificial intelligence: autonomous robots, molecular computers, and prototypes for nanoscale therapeutics. After completing designs and carrying out experimentation, student teams travel to the Jamboree in October in which they showcase and present their work to win prizes.


A large number of research groups conduct work within the broad area of synthetic biology.