Vittorio Bartoli awarded travel bursary from Institute of Chemical Engineering Biochemical Engineering

August 18, 2017

Vittorio Bartoli has been awarded a £200 travel bursary to present his work on tuneable genetic devices at the Institute of Chemical Engineering Biochemical Engineering Special Interest Group’s Young Researchers Meeting on the 13th September at University College London. The event brings together talented PhD students from across different disciplines to present their work to their peers, senior academics and industrialists, highlighting the depth and quality of research taking place by young researchers in Biochemical Engineering within the UK.

BrisSynBio-MaxSynBio researcher exchange awards

May 22, 2017

Vittorio Bartoli and Ana Rubio Denniss have been awarded BrisSynBio-MaxSynBio researcher exchange awards to support short-term placements for building links between the UK and German synthetic biology networks. Vittorio will be visiting the Biomicrofluidics Systems Group headed by Dr Tom Robinson at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Berlin, Germany. He will be exploring the creation of novel microfluidic devices to enable a better scale-up of synthetic biology processes for industrial production. Ana will be travelling to the Light-controlled Systems Group headed by Dr Seraphine Wegner at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany. She will be working to investigate how photo-switchable proteins can be used to control nano-particle swarms. Placements are scheduled to take place in the Autumn.

Synthetic Biology meets Dragon's Den!

April 28, 2017

Daniel Dixon and Vittorio Bartoli, along with their team Accellarus, were awarded second place in a Dragon's Den style competition, winning £2,000 of lab space and services by pitching a start-up business idea to investors. The competition came at the end of a 4-day course on building a synthetic biology-rich biotech business held by BrisSynBio and SynbiCITE. The company, Accellarus aims to accelerate the commercialisation of biosynthetic pathways using it's designer chassis organism, the world's first organism whose ecological niche is an industrial bioprocess.

Synthetic Biology Meets Robotics

March 17, 2017

With the generous support of an EPSRC Institutional Sponsorship Award from the the University of Bristol, it was a pleasure to host the inaugural Synthetic Biology Meets Robotics event at Bristol Aquarium. We had an action packed schedule of talks, networking, posters, exhibits, ideas generation and prizes! As with all good events, it ended with a drink admiring Brunel's wonderful bridge.

Come join us for the Google Summer of Code 2017

January 15, 2017

Are you interested in programming and open-source development projects? Want to know what it is like to do some real research? Well, this year the Biocompute Lab has joined the global Google Summer of Code (GSoC) scheme that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects. Our project will focus on improvements to a genetic circuit visualisation tool called DNAplotlib to enable beautiful renderings of complex biological designs and to support the development of the next-generation of visualisation pipeline. Successful students will be mentored by Thomas Gorochowski (University of Bristol, UK) and Bryan Bartley (University of Washington, USA). For more details about the scheme and how to apply check out the National Resource for Network Biology (NRNB) GSoC page:, and for specific information about our project check out: DNAplotlib GSoC Project

Einstein's Garden at Green Man Festival 2016

August 18, 2016

Several members of the lab helped with the conception and development of the Dynamic Cell installation for Einstein's Garden at the Green Man Festival this year. There was music, graphs of goo, puppeteers, and much more. (Photos from Vittorio)

Thomas Gorochowski Featured in BristolFaces on Facebook

August 17, 2016

Ever wonder what we get upto in the lab. Well, in recognition of our support for this years Einstein’s Garden at the Green Man Festival, Thomas Gorochowski provides some insight. Read the full interview on Facebook. Photos of the event to follow soon!

Bristol Bug Bashers head to the BDAthlon bio-design automation programming contest

May 13, 2016

A team of synthetic biology PhD students from the SynBioCDT have been awarded funding to head to the BDAthlon programming contest taking place in Newcastle this August. The interdisciplinary “Bristol Bug Bashers” team consists of Daniel Dixon a biologist focused on analog computation in living cells, Vittorio Bartoli a chemical engineer implementing negative feedback controllers for use in metabolic engineering, and Jack Steventon a protein designer that uses molecular dynamic simulations to facilitate rational design. Both Daniel and Vittorio are performing short-projects in the lab this summer and we wish them all the best for the competition.

Daniel Dixon awarded IWBDA scholarship

May 06, 2016

The 8th International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation (IWBDA) will be held in Newcastle this year and Daniel Dixon has been awarded a scholarship to attend and present his work! Daniel’s research is focused on analog genetic circuits and uses a mix of modelling and experiments to help guide and potentially automate the creation of new biological devices. This will makes IWBDA the perfect place to present his latest findings and meet the leaders of the field. See you there in August!

Hot off the press: understanding ribosome allocation in cells using a minimal model

April 25, 2016

Cells contain a finite set of resources that must be distributed across many processes with the largest proportion dedicated to protein translation. Synthetic biology often exploits these resources in executing orthogonal genetic circuits, yet the burden this places on the cell is rarely considered. In this work we develop a minimal model that enables us to describe the trade-offs made between endogenous and synthetic genes. We show that simple rules can accurately predict the response of cells, making this model a powerful tool for optimising the efficiency of synthetic gene expression. See the full press release here and the ACS Synthetic Biology paper here.