User:Pakpoom Subsoontorn/Notebook/general reading/2008/10/08

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Course: Molecular and cellular bioengineering (new syllabus)

  • I'm taking this core-class with this title for my bioengineering master. The class

is poorly organized and fail to address the 'engineering perspective for biological system' as stated in the syllabus.

  • I would like to re-write the class syllabus as you'll see below.


  • Why do we want to engineer biological systems? How could this particular research be applied to medicine, agriculture or being used as basic research tools. While many bioengineering projects are still at the level of basic science, the students should be able to perceive the useful end-product of them.
  • How to engineer biological systems and biomolecule? From designing new protein to genetic engineering to metabolic engineering, the students will be exposed to the current tools and challenges in engineering at these different level.

General Organization

  • In each class, we will try to address an open question: how to build XXXX ? Throughout

the class, we will present the variety of current methods that bioengineers use for tackle the problems. Lots of examples drawn from current literatures will be given. We also address the challenging questions and the directions of the current research near the end of the class.

  • In a group of 3-4 people, students write-up the research proposal and present

to the class at the end of the term


  • Introduction:
  1. why engineering biology?
  2. what are the different levels of engineering?
  • Designing new biomolecule
  1. How to relate the designs to the structure and the function:

protein engineering,

  1. How to produce the designed molecule efficiently?
  • Metabolic engineering
  1. How to use a cell a factory
  • Reprogramming a cell

Reading list

  • D. Baker, G. Church, J. Collins, D. Endy, J. Jacobson, J. Keasling, P. Modrich, C. Smolke, and R. Weiss. 2006. “Engineering life: building a FAB for biology.” Scientific American June:44-51.
  • Wang, L., Brock, A., Herberich, B., Schultz, P.G. “Expanding the Genetic Code of Escherichia coli.” Science, 292:498-500, 2001.