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

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 Ramazanoğlu Bahadır, Programme developer

Registration and accommodation

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

Deadlines close at 23.59 BST

In-person Registration
Student/trainee £396
Academic/non-profit organisation £496
Healthcare professional £496
Commercial/for-profit organisation £596
Onsite accommodation £214

The in-person registration fee includes:

  • Full access to scientific programme: oral and poster presentations, and networking on campus
  • Access to the online conference portal to network with online participants
  • Meals (lunch and dinner) and refreshments during the conference. Breakfast will be provided for delegates who have booked onsite accommodation.
  • Recordings of the live-stream sessions, which will be available ‘on-demand’ for four weeks after the event ends
Virtual Registration Fee
Delegates from LMICs* Free
Student/trainee £55
Academic/non-profit organisation £105
Healthcare professional £105
Commercial/for-profit organisation £165

Virtual registration fee includes:

  • Access to the virtual event portal (Log in details will be emailed a few days before the event starts)
  • Live-stream sessions, including posters and online networking channels
  • Recordings of the live-stream sessions, available ‘on-demand’ for four weeks after the event ends.

* To promote more inclusive scientific discussions with international colleagues at our conferences, virtual delegates based in Lower and Middle-Income Countries can register for free (see list of countries here).

If you are an editor or journalist, please contact the conference organiser for more information about the discounted fee.


Booked accommodation is for the nights of  21 and 22 October 2024.
Please note: there is limited onsite accommodation and this will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis; therefore, early registration is recommended. If you wish to book campus accommodation either side of the conference dates, please contact the Hinxton Hall Conference Centre directly.

Accommodation services phishing scam – please be vigilant. More information.

Travel visas

Citizens of many countries can travel to the UK for a course 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 conference organiser.

Financial assistance


Bursary deadline: 30 July 2024

Wellcome Connecting Science offers registration bursaries (usually up to 50% of the registration fee) to those who would benefit from attending the conference but face financial barriers to attending events.

To apply for funding support, please register and then select that you want to apply for a bursary. This will direct you to the online application form. Please be prepared to explain why you need support and how you will benefit from attending the conference. Once you have submitted the application form, you will be emailed an abstract portal link. Please use this to submit an abstract before bursary deadline. Applications without abstracts will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Final edits can be made to the abstract up until the abstract deadline. 

Priority will be given to PhD students, applicants from lower and middle income countries, or those from underrepresented/minoritised groups. Other early career researchers will be considered if funds allow.

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 are expected to be onsite for the duration of the conference, whereas those presenting posters can do so in person or virtually.

To submit an abstract, you must first register for the conference. Once your registration is completed, you will be emailed a link to submit to the abstract submission portal. If you wish to edit your abstract following submission, please use the link in the abstract acknowledgement email.

All abstracts must be submitted and, if desired, edited by the deadline. The scientific programme committee will then assess your abstract and you will be notified about 2 weeks after the deadline whether you have been selected to present an oral or poster presentation. If you require acknowledgment that your abstract has been accepted earlier than this, please contact the event organiser.

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 also have the opportunity present a ~1 min ‘poster pitch’ summarising their work.


With thanks to our sponsors:New England Biolabs

Short talk prize generously supported by

Poster prize generously supported by

If you are interested in supporting this meeting, please contact us.

For more information about the benefits of having a presence at this conference, see our sponsorship page.


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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