Hampton Summer Program Explores Synthetic Biology

This summer, the Hampton University Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HU-HHMI) will explore synthetic biology and its role in the new bio-economy. The residential five-week program for Hampton University freshmen is held from June 21-July 26.

In the HHMI molecular biology and Keck Genomics-Bioinformatics labs, rising freshman will have an opportunity to learn basic synthetic biology concepts as they receive hands-on experience in this new field.

“In this new economy, living cells such as algae, yeast, and bacteria will be engineered to provide the fuel to power our homes, factories, and engines,” Dr. Edison Fowlks, Professor of Biology and HU-HHMI program director said in a statement. “I envision the HU-HHMI program will produce the next generation of synthetic biologists working at the nanoscience level.”

HU-HHMI students will be empowered through an interdisciplinary approach with knowledge of molecular genomics, computer science, engineering and mathematics to program or reprogram the molecular machinery of cells to perform like bio-factories.

Students will learn the inner workings of bacteria and yeast at the level of gene expression and apply the technologies of synthetic biology to design novel projects to address some of the issues relating to bioenergy, the environment, agriculture and medicine.

The goal of the program is to increase the entry of graduates into biology, computer science, mathematics and engineering Ph.D. programs. HU-HHMI students continue at HU through a stimulating undergraduate program focused on research and preparing students for continued education.

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Hampton Summer Program Explores Synthetic Biology


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