Established in 2019, The Centre for Young Synbio Scientists is now gaining momentum. With six brilliant young scientists, research activities are already under way. Last year, the centre's own GMO lab, the BioGarage, was launched and has since hosted students, startups and fascinating workshops. CYSS’s mission is to promote synthetic biology research in Finland by funding and supporting young researchers, PhD students and post-docs.
Fund - Encourage - Connect
The aim of this research community is to support young scientists and their innovations, as well as create societal debate on synthetic biology and its responsible use. One way to encourage young researchers is to strengthen the dynamic network of people with an interest in synthetic biology. To that end, an important part of the project is The BioGarage laboratory at the Aalto University Design Factory. It provides a low-treshold, multidisciplinary laboratory facility for interactions, developing synbio skills and generating new ideas. With the help of the growing synbio community there is more potential to turn these ideas into industrially relevant solutions or even into brand new businesses. The BioGarage also educates the public about the possibilities of synthetic biology by organising community workshops for schools, students and other groups.
The scientists currently doing their thesis or post doc research at the Centre for Young Synbio Scientists are Natalia Kakko, Anna Ylinen, Pezhman Mohammadi, Robert Pylkkänen, Taru Koitto and Feng Jianhui. The fascinating research topics vary from microbial bioplastics, biocomposites and synthetic cellulose to machine learning and data analysis. The scientists and their research topics will be presented in depth in a blog series via the CYSS web page and other media.
Courage - Responsibility - Collaboration
The aim of CYSS is to train young scientists to become courageous and responsible researchers, who solve some of our most pressing problems by creating sustainable solutions for the future. Good contacts within industry and open communication with the public both play a central role in this. By engaging in societal debate we wish to broaden the discussion about the role of synthetic biology in future technology development and its ethical considerations. We encourage our scientists to collaborate across disciplines and to become a part of the global synthetic biology community. By strengthening the network, we create value for everyone involved!
CYSS is a collaboration between Aalto University and VTT. It is funded by the Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation and is part of the Synbio Powerhouse - an innovation ecosystem focused on strengthening biotechnology capabilities and business development in Finland via synthetic biology.