mSBW Conference Keynote Ami Bhatt on Microbial Genomics

Organized by AIChE’s Society for Biological Engineering (SBE),  the 2023 International Mammalian Synthetic Biology Workshop (mSBW) will be held June 22–23, 2023 in San Jose, California. 2023 mSBW brings together leaders in synthetic biology with experts from other relevant fields to highlight and inspire cutting-edge synthetic biology research, emphasizing both basic and applied science. Reserve your spot today. Funding opportunities are also available to attend this event. 

We caught up with keynote speaker Ami Bhatt, Associate Professor at Stanford University, to discuss what she'll be presenting at mSBW.

What will you be talking about at the conference?

I come from a different field of science than most people who will be at this conference. I am a physician-scientist and my lab is strongly focused on microbial genomics. We are extremely interested in how bacterial genomes evolve in short and long time scales, and have been studying mobile genetic elements (jumping genes, etc.) for the past decade. In this process, we developed tools to identify these elements, as well as the DNA sequences that they target.

This information – which links DNA mobilization enzymes (integrases, recombinases, etc.) to their target sites – turns out to be very useful for mammalian synthetic biology and other applications. I’ll talk about these enzymes in their native (bacterial) context and how they can be studied and explored for use in orthogonal contexts. Our hope is that these enzymes can be used for all kinds of mammalian genome engineering.

What message would you like the audience to take away from this year’s mSBW?

I would like the audience to take away the idea that their field is very closely connected to a wide variety of other fields (like mine, microbiome genomics), and that by trying to understand the biological roles of tools that their field is trying to leverage/exploit in their natural biological contexts, they can better wield these tools.

Learn more about the 2023 International Mammalian Synthetic Biology Workshop (mSBW) and register today.

About SBE

Established in 2004, the Society for Biological Engineering is a technological community for engineers and applied scientists integrating biology with engineering. Members of SBE come from a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines and share in SBE’s mission of realizing the benefits of bioprocessing, biomedical, and biomolecular applications. Learn more about SBE.