To inaugurate its 2018-2019 Masterclass series, the AIV Master is proud to announce its first Masterclass guest: Diego di Bernardo, lead of the Systems and Synthetic Biology Unit at the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (Italy) and coordinator of the European research initiative "Control Engineering of Biological Systems for Reliable Synthetic Biology Applications". He has been one of the pioneers of the integration of Synthetic Biology with Control Engineering. His lab has also developed integrated experimental and computational approach to reverse engineer gene networks and for computational drug repositioning.
About his talk:
There and back again: an adventure between Engineering and Biology
Engineering principles and methodologies can be used to analyse experimental data describing a biological process of interest and to build a quantitative model to gain mechanistic insights of how the biological system works and how to modify its behaviour. This has been the focus of my early career work, an area which came to be known as “reverse-engineering of gene networks”, and took me deep into Biology. However, biologists and engineers were quite different at the time, just like elves and hobbits, and being an engineer, I really wanted to build something rather than “merely" understanding how things worked. Synthetic Biology together with microfluidics technology enables to modify a biological system, monitor its dynamic behaviour and interact with it in real-time. These unprecedented capabilities are making the border between biology and engineering fuzzy and a new area of research is on the rise: cybergenetics. I will illustrate also our recent work in this area.
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