2nd International Conference on Plant Synthetic Biology, Bioengineering, and Biotechnology

November 29 - December 1, 2018
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Presented by the Society of Biological Engineering (SBE), this conference will bring together scientists and engineers from universities, industry and government working in all aspects of Plant Synthetic Biology, Plant Bioengineering and Plant Biotechnology.

Plant synthetic biology uses enabling approaches from engineering and plants as platforms to produce self-sustaining and photosynthetic driven traits and bio-production. The emerging field relies on computational modeling and mathematical analysis to design predictable biological functions and sustainable traits. As such the field integrates and encompasses broad applications including biofuels, agriculture, bio-materials, biopharmaceuticals, sustainability and more.  All aspects of plant synthetic biology will be discussed in this conference from tools to design predictable functions and precision genome editing, to designed photosynthesis, plant bioengineering techniques, and rational design of novel plant traits.  

Submit an Abstract by Sunday, July 29th, 2018

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Session Topics:

  1. Tissue Culture and Transformation of Recalcitrant Species
  2. Transgenic Approaches for Improving Traits and Performance  of Crops
  3. Engineering of the Chloroplast Genome
  4. Gene-Editing Tools
  5. Genome Editing for Crop Improvement
  6. Plant Foundry: Biopolymers, Biopharmaceuticals and Medically Effective Secondary Metabolites (Vaccines, Antibodies, and Metabolites)
  7. Synthetic Biology Tools and Quantitative Aspects of Gene Circuit Design

Keynote Speakers:

Invited Speakers:

Conference Co-Chairs:

Organizing Committee:

Featured Speakers

Bill Gordon-Kamm

Bill has worked in industrial biotechnology since 1987, first at DeKalb/Pfizer Genetics from which he and his colleagues reported on the successful production of fertile transgenic maize plants in 1990.  After moving to Pioneer Hi-Bred in 1993 his lab has continued to focus on improving transformation of recalcitrant maize inbreds, first in the area of cell cycle stimulation to provide a positive growth advantage, and later working with morphogenic genes such as LEC1, WUS and BBM.  As part of a growing team of researchers, recent progress with morphogenic genes has resulted in greatly...Read more

Poul Erik Jensen

Poul Erik Jensen's group has a strong expertise within photosynthesis research focusing on photosystem I (PSI) and chloroplast biology. The ability to manipulate photosynthetic chloroplasts in order to tap into the light harvesting system of plants and to utilize this power for the production of valuable bioactive natural products is of great interest both for academia and industry due to the potential of an efficient biosynthetic production of e.g. anti-cancer pharmaceuticals.

His group identified genes for subunits of the PSI holocomplex and has elucidated the function of...Read more

June Medford

Dr. June Medford is a Professor in the Biology Department at Colorado State University.  June grew up in Maryland and still loves the ocean.  She earned a B.S. in Botany from the University of Maryland and Ph.D. in Biology from Yale University. She joined Colorado State University in 1996.  June and her husband Tim, live nearby with their two Australian Shepherds Brandi and Lexie.  They all enjoy recreation in the nearby Rocky Mountains.  Read more

Johnathan Napier

Johnathan grew up in rural County Down, Northern Ireland. He studied Agricultural Sciences at the University of Nottingham and obtained his PhD from King’s College, London. He carried out post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge and then took a position at Long Ashton Research Station in Bristol. He relocated to Rothamsted Research in 2003 where he is currently Associate Director. Johnathan is also an Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and Visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham, who also awarded him a DSc in 2006. He has published over 150 peer-...Read more

Patrick M. Shih

Patrick M. Shih, PhD,  is a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Fellow at the Joint BioEnergy Institute and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has a BS in microbiology and a BA in political science from the Univ. of California, San Diego. He received his PhD from the Univ. of California, Berkeley, where he worked on engineering synthetic carbon fixation pathways into photosynthetic organisms. Currently, he is a postdoctoral fellow developing plant synthetic biology tools to facilitate complex engineering efforts in crop plants. These tools are being utilized to engineer bioenergy and...Read more

Chris Voigt


Professor Voigt obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the California Institute of Technology. He continued his postdoctoral research in Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His academic career commenced as an Assistant and Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California-San Francisco. Professor Voigt joined the Department of Biological Engineering at Massacusetts Institute of Technology as Associate Professor...Read more