Synthetic Biology for Health and Sustainability

21–23 October 2024

Wellcome Genome Campus, UK and Virtual

Towards improving human health and sustainability with synthetic biology technologies


Synthetic biology has been widely championed worldwide as a driving force for the ‘bioeconomy’. Our second conference on synthetic biology will provide a platform to showcase the latest research within the field that can potentially improve human health and planetary sustainability.

The conference will address how the technologies coming out of synthetic biology impact both healthcare (e.g. personalised medicines, T-cell therapies, low-cost diagnostics) and environmental challenges (e.g. sustainable management of agriculture, pollution and waste control). Additionally, the sessions will explore advances in synthetic genomics, microbiome engineering, and living materials and aim to reflect on where resources and work are succeeding and where more effort needs to be placed to ensure equitable global outcomes.

The meeting brings together researchers working on synthetic biology, biotechnology, genomics, and medical sciences, along with industry members from pharma and biotech companies. The attendees from diverse backgrounds will have a unique networking opportunity for interactions to seed new collaborations at the meeting. Encouraging high-level discussions, the programme will include invited talks from the leaders in the field as well as short talks, poster pitch talks and poster sessions selected from abstracts.


The conference will start at approximately 12.00 on Monday 21 October and close at approximately 13.00 on Wednesday 23 October 2024. All times are in British Summer Time.

Discussions will focus on a variety of exciting topics, including:

  • Approaches for cell engineering
  • Systems and genomics
  • Applications in health
  • Towards sustainability
  • Living materials
  • Microbiome engineering

A draft programme will be available soon.

Organisers and speakers

Scientific programme committee

Yasunori Aizawa
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan 

Sonja Billerbeck 
University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Tom Ellis
Imperial College London, UK

Katie Galloway
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Keynote speakers

Jef D. Boeke
NYU Langone Medical Center, USA

James J. Collins
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Anne Osbourn
John Innes Centre, UK

Confirmed speakers

Pascale Daran-Lapujade
Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands

Barbara Di Ventura
University of Freiburg, Germany

Marc Güell
Pompeu Fabra University, Spain

Ji-Sook Hahn
Seoul National University, South Korea

Louise Horsfall
University of Edinburgh, UK

Michael Krogh Jensen
Technical University of Denmark/Biomia, Denmark

Ron Milo
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Nika Shakiba
University of British Columbia, Canada

Ophelia Venturelli
University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Wilfried Weber
Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Germany

Chao Zhong
Shenzhen Institute of Sythetic Biology, China

Organisers – Wellcome Connecting Science

Lucy Criddle, Conference & events organiser
Nagehan Ramazanoglu Bahadir, Programme developer – scientific meeting

Registration and accommodation

Registration deadline: 24 September (in person) | 15 October 2024 (virtual)

Details regarding registration and accommodation will be announced soon.

Travel visas
Citizens of many countries can travel to the UK to attend a course or conference without needing a visa. Please check the UK government website for visitor information:

Confirmed attendees requiring a letter to support a visa application should contact the event organiser.

Financial assistance


Bursary deadline: 30 July 2024

A limited number of registration bursaries are available to attend this conference in person (up to 50% of the registration fee). Priority will be given to PhD students submitting abstracts who are facing financial barriers.

To apply, please use the dedicated bursary application link on the registration site. Please answer the bursary-related questions and submit an abstract before midnight UK time on the bursary deadline for your application to be considered.

Additional funding opportunities

Visit our support page for information on financial support, including carer grants to help delegates with the costs of caring for children or dependent family members while attending a course or a conference.


Abstract deadline: 3 September 2024

We welcome abstracts from all areas relevant to the main themes of the meeting, for both oral and poster presentations. Several oral presentations will be chosen from the abstracts submitted. Presenters of oral presentations as expected to be onsite for the duration of the conference, whereas those presenting posters can do so in person or virtually.

Abstracts will only be considered from registered delegates. Please use our online abstract submission system and follow the instructions given to ensure your abstract is submitted correctly. All abstracts must be submitted by the deadline. You can make changes to your submitted abstract before of the deadline by logging into your account and following the instructions

If you have already completed your registration and subsequently wish to submit an abstract, or wish to submit a second abstract, please follow these instructions.

The scientific programme committee will assess your abstract after the deadline has passed and you will be notified whether you have been selected to present an oral or poster presentation.

Poster boards onsite will accommodate 118 cm high by 84 cm wide (A0-portrait) of printed material. Accepted abstracts will appear in the conference programme book; poster board numbers will be allocated at the conference. All those accepted for a poster presentation will be given the opportunity to upload a short video describing their work.


If you are interested in supporting this meeting, please contact the sponsorship manager.

See our sponsorship page for information about the benefits.


Feedback from Synthetic Biology for Future Health 2023

“I met some excellent contacts and overall really enjoyed the interaction with the other delegates and learned a lot of new things, including techniques and ideas that sparked thoughts for my own work.”

“The standard of all of the talks was very high, the science was exciting.”

“I appreciated having plenty of time for networking – extremely important – and ample time given to the poster session, at which it was wonderful to see everyone engaged.”


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