Feb 01, 2023  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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EB 4300 - Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology

2 lecture hours 3 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 manipulation techniques for engineering, biotechnological, medical, environmental, energy, and other applications. Specific application areas for discussion, using both synthetic biology and metabolic engineering technologies, include improved cellular performance for production of biopharmaceuticals, detection and/or degradation of toxins, generation of novel drugs and 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 and fabrication of new biological components and systems or the re-design and fabrication of existing biological systems are discussed. Laboratory experiments reinforce the concepts from lecture emphasizing engineering and controls of synthetic biotools. (prereq: EB 3530 )
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • Design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • 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
  • Identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • Gain knowledge of contemporary issues
  • Use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  • Display a thorough foundation in the basic sciences and sufficient knowledge in the concepts and skills required to design, analyze and control physical, chemical and biological products and processes in the field of biomolecular engineering
  • Gain a fundamental understanding of the definitions of metabolic engineering and the defining experiments in the field
  • Understand and apply basic aspects of mass/material balances and flux analysis to a metabolic engineering problem
  • 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
  • Understand and apply basic aspects of parts, devices and systems analysis to a synthetic biology design
  • 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
  • None 

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

Dr. Gul Afshan

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