Want to learn more about synthetic biology? Click here.


We are a team of undergraduate students from the University of Virginia with a shared interest in synthetic biology. We hail from five different states, and our majors include biology, biochemistry, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, neuroscience, statistics, and nanomedicine engineering.

More about the team →


Synthetic Translational Control

We set out to design a novel biocontainment mechanism based upon the modification of the leucyl tRNA synthetase enzyme. Our system causes the biocontained organism to be dependent upon a synthetic form of leucine for survival - hence the title of our project. To implement the system in E. coli, our goal was used to knockout the native E. coli tRNA synthetase gene, and insert the modified synthetase gene into the bacterial cells.

Project Overview →