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Morphogenesis, the generation of shape, is a topic of considerable interest in basic research with important implications in biomedicine. Across scales, from subcellular structures to multicellular systems shape is intimately linked with function. While traditional genetic approaches have allowed the identification of key components controlling individual morphogenetic processes, recent advances in synthetic biology are opening the possibility to engineer gene circuits, signal systems, and biomaterials to not only probe morphogenesis but also to re-construct it and direct it (synthetic morphogenesis).
Synthetic morphogenesis is a novel and exciting field that requires collaboration among traditionally distinct scientific communities, from developmental biologists, to chemists and material scientists. This symposium will bring together scientists from these different disciplines to discuss the extent to which cells/tissues/organs can be built de novo starting from isolated components.