Towards Programmable Biology (ToProB)

20th July, 2015, York, UK

Satellite Workshop at ECAL 2015


Synthetic Biology’s vision to repurpose living cells as substrates for general computation has manifested itself in genetic circuit designs that attempt to implement Boolean logic gates, digital memory, oscillators, and other circuits from electrical engineering. Yet, the various achievements in the realm of Synthetic Biology remain isolated and generally lack the modularity and scalability of their electronic counterparts.

This ECAL 2015 satellite workshop revisits cornerstone achievements in Synthetic Biology research that address general computability in biological substrates, in order to demarcate key in-vivo and in-silico challenges of this novel research area. Topics will deal with how paradigms borrowed from digital, electronic devices are best implemented in large-scale biological substrates, and whether unconventional computing paradigms, such as those developed in the research field of Artificial Life, might offer more promising routes toward full-fledged biological computation.

Invited Speakers

ACS Synthetic Biology Special Issue

We are happy to announce that we will edit an ACS Synthetic Biology Special Issue on Programmable Biology. All workshop participants are invited to contribute to this issue.


Harold Fellermann, Omer Markovitch, Owen Gilfellon and Curtis Madsen. Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex Biosystems research group and Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK