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Synthetic biology topic of Orton Stark lectures April 11


John Glass, director of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) Synthetic Biology Group, will present “Synthetic Biology: Digitizing Life” at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in 128 Pearson Hall. His lecture, targeted for a general audience, is the Orton K. Stark Lecture in Microbiology.

He will also present a research seminar, “Creating a Minimal Bacterial Cell” at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 12, in 218 Pearson Hall.

Glass's synthetic biology group created a synthetic bacterial cell based on Mycoplasma mycoides in 2010. Glass directs the mycoplasma biology and genome transplantation components of this project.

From the lessons learned through building a synthetic cell with a minimal gene set the JCVI synthetic biologists hope to design and create cells with properties that address human needs in medicine, bioenergy and the environment.

Glass also leads a Venter Institute team that is working with Novartis Vaccines to produce influenza virus vaccines faster and better.

These lectures are funded by the family, friends and students of Orton K. Stark, the founding chair of the department of microbiology. They are sponsored by the department of microbiology with support from the cell, molecular and structural biology program.


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