Synthetic Biology

Home E Syllabus and Course of Studies E Synthetic Biology

Theory: 2 hours/week | ECTS Units: 4

Content – Aim of the course

The goal of Synthetic Biology is the synthesis of new biological systems that do not normally occur in nature and which have novel characteristics and traits. At a basic level Synthetic Biology deconstructs biological processes, for instance the production of a protein from a gene, and subsequently reconstructs products so as to generate a new system with a unique new function. In other words, Synthetic Biology aims to create living systems from scratch and to attribute novel functions to them. In this manner, Synthetic Biology contributes to the better understanding of the principles of biology, but also comprises a source of novel products with high added value, for instance cheap drugs form microorganisms, bacteria that produce energy or remediate dangerous environmental contaminants, programmed bacteria that search for and destroy tumors within an organism, and many more applications. This introductory course focuses both on the principles of this new science and on its applications.

Analytical Description of the Course

The course includes lectures covering the following topics:

  1. Basic concepts in Biological Engineering
  2. Basic Methods and Technologies
  3. The Minimal Cell and Synthetic Life
  4. Parts, Devices and Systems
  5. Modeling Synthetic Biological Systems
  6. Applications of Designed Biological Systems
  7. iGEM: international Genetically Engineered Machine
  8. The social impact of Synthetic Biology


Student performance for this course is judged base on:

  1. Attendance of lectures (A)
  2. Participation in discussions during lectures (P)
  3. Literature-based presentation/essays on specific subjects (E)
  4. Written exam

Cumulative Score (S) = 0,2×A + 0,2×P + 0,6×Ε
If S<5 written exam is required
If S>5 written exam may improve final score.

Reading Suggestions

  • Synthetic Biology: A primer BaldwinG, BayerT, DickinsonR, EllisT, FreemontPS, KirneyRI, PolizziK, StanG-B. ISBN: 978-618-5173-26-5 (Κωδικός στον Εύδοξο: 68403717)

Relevant peer-reviewed journals:

Teaching Material / E-class


Kostas Mathiopoulos (Course Coordinator)

Kalliope Papadopoulou (Course Coordinator)

Aikaterini Kalliampakou

Vasileios E. Pantazis