Jun 07, 2020  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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EB 3500 - Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology

2 lecture hours 2 lab hours 3 credits
Course Description
The course presents an overview of the latest advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology to modulate intracellular pathways using recombinant DNA and other techniques for designing and engineering, biotechnological, medical, environmental, energy, and other applications. Specific application areas, using both synthetic biology and metabolic engineering technologies, for discussion include improved cellular performance for production of biopharmaceuticals or novel drugs, detection and/or degradation of toxins, generation cell therapies, and energy generation from microbial sources. Existing research problems in biomolecular engineering are used to illustrate principles in the design of metabolic pathways, biomolecules, genetic circuits and complex biological systems with emphasis on experimental approaches to design. Design, re-design and fabrication of new and existing biological components and systems are discussed. Laboratory experiments reinforce the concepts from lecture emphasizing engineering and controls of synthetic biotools. (prereq: EB 2410 )
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  • A foundation in the basic sciences sufficient to design, analyze and control physical, chemical and biological products and processes
  • Gain a fundamental understanding of the definitions of Metabolic Engineering and the defining experiments in the field
  • Have the ability to understand, and apply basic aspects of, mass/material balances and flux analysis to a metabolic engineering problem
  • Develop the ability to identify a metabolic problem, propose solutions, and analyze possible problems
  • Gain a fundamental understanding of the definitions of Synthetic Biology and the defining experiments in the field
  • Develop the ability to understand, and apply basic aspects of, parts, devices and systems analysis to a synthetic biology design
  • Develop the ability to identify a problem and propose possible synthetic biology responses to the identified problem, including detailing the needed design, parts and testing
  • Identify ethical considerations related to synthetic biology, including both possible positive and negative aspects of the field
  • Identify how metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have influenced the areas of production of pharmaceuticals, generation of novel drugs, and energy generation

Prerequisites by Topic
  • No prerequisites by topic appended

Course Topics
  • Synthetic Biology: Overview/foundations and engineering principles, BioBricks, designed genetic circuit examples, sensors, output, regulation, oscillations
  • Metabolic Engineering: foundations, growth nutrients, material/mass balance, regulation, network rigidity
  • Applications: clinical, biofuels, pharmaceutical, food, environmental, and biotechnology
  • Theoretical design and proposal of a new sensor and output device
  • Laboratory experience with genetic devices, regulation (promoters and RBS sites), complex circuits, and cellular chassis
  • Ethical considerations of metabolic engineering and/or synthetic biology research and development

Gul Afshan

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