Event by Novo Nordisk Foundation Science Cluster

    Conference: The Automated Scientist – the future of cell factory engineering

    Over the next decade, we will increasingly see the design and learn process being automated through artificial intelligence, thus laying the foundation for the automated scientist. This conference will see thought leaders from academia and industry introduce recent advances and future directions in the field.

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    11-15 March 2024

    Speakers

    Adam L. Meadows Amyris
    Bernhard Palsson University of California, San Diego
    Chueh Loo Poh National University Singapore
    Daniel Goodwin Homeworld Collective
    Elise de Reus Cradle
    Erika Alden DeBenedictis The Biodesign Laboratory
    Evelyn Travnik The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain)
    Huimin Zhao University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    Hyun Uk Kim Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
    Isabel Rocha Universidade NOVA de Lisboa SilicoLife
    Michelle Lee medra.ai
    Nathan Hillson Agile Biofoundry, Department Head of BioDesign at Berkeley Lab
    Ross King University of Cambridge
    Will Serber Gingko Bioworks
    Ali Madani Profluent Bio
    Barbara Ribeiro SKEMA Business School
    Andrew Ferguson Evozyne

    Intro

    Advances in our ability to read and write DNA code have fundamentally changed our ability to harness biology for human and planetary benefit. Combined with advances in automation, analytics and data science in so-called biofoundries, synthetic biology now enables us to undertake projects of a scale and ambition unheard of just a decade ago.

    The past decade has seen significant advances in high-throughput build and test workflows driven particularly by advances in DNA synthesis, low volume liquid handling and rapid assays. HT cultivation remains a weak spot in terms of being representative, though secondary screens through automated cultivation systems have become achievable if costly. 

    Advances in the design and learn processes have been more patchy. We remain generally poor at designing maximally informative constructs, i.e., at any given time and given build capacity, choosing the most likely engineering strategies and specific designs to progress a project towards an end objective. Design is often left to human inspiration or inappropriate DOE strategies unfit for the scale and complexity of responses possible. Once the chosen designs have been built and tested, we rarely exploit the full data set generated or contextualize with current knowledge, instead typically relying on picking a subset of superior strains and the knowledge of the designer. 

    Over the next decade, we will increasingly see the design and learn process being automated through artificial intelligence, thus laying the foundation for the automated scientist. This conference will see thought leaders from academia and industry introduce recent advances and future directions in the field. The target audience is both metabolic engineers and data scientists working on developing cell factories sustainability. Ample time has been allocated for discussions between metabolic engineers and data scientists to facilitate advances in the understanding of needs and opportunities in this field.

    When?

    The programme starts at 4:30 pm on Monday, 11 March 2024 and ends Friday, 15 March 2024 with checkout at 9:00 am.

    How to apply?

    Our conferences has no application fees – registration is free.

    Please note that the Novo Nordisk Foundation Science Cluster Conferences offers exclusive opportunities to network in an intimate setting with a carefully selected, limited body of participants. Allocation of seats at this conference takes place through a selection process through which our Scientific Committee chooses the best candidates for the conference. If you get accepted for the conference, your participation (excluding travels) is covered by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. We expect all participants and speakers to actively take part in the full duration of the conference.

    The call is now open: Oxford Abstracts

    If you wish to attend our conference, you will need to apply and submit an abstract* in our application system: Oxford Abstracts

    • If you have not used the system before, click REGISTER to create an account.
    • You will then receive a mail with which you can login.
    • When you have logged in, you can apply to the conference under the name: The Automated Scientist – the future of cell factory engineering
    • Please fill out applicant info and abstract.

    *If you are from industry or if, for another reason, it does not make sense for you to submit an abstract, you can apply with a motivation instead. Our scientific committee will evaluate your relevance for the conference based on your motivation.

    All accepted participants will be expected to present a poster at the conference.

    When can I apply: Call opens 7 September 2023

    Abstract submission: The application deadline is 21 November 2023

    Evaluation of incoming applications: Early December 2023

    Notifications to applicants: Medio December 2023

    SHORT TALKS: Some applicants will be invited to give a short talk during the conference based on their submitted abstract. Selected applicants will be notified in the autumn of 2023.

    Registration fee, accommodation and local costs for all approved applicants are covered by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Only travel expenses to and from the conference venue will be at your own expense.

    For more practical details about the conferences, please click here.

     

    Conference topics

    Conference topics

    Robot scientists
    Sociology of science
    Computer aided design
    Modern robotics approaches
    Machine learning in biofoundries
    Impactful AI/experimentation
    ML to protein design
    Automation at Zymergen and now Ginkgo
    Open source software for synthetic biology
    Data representation: iModulon, Pangenomics
    Developing highly productive biotech communities
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