Industrial Genome Engineering: Modern Tools, Approaches, and Applications

Strain improvement programs in industry are often tasked with identifying and stacking beneficial genetic changes in an efficient manner. Precision genome engineering is a rapidly changing field that impacts microbes, plants, and mammalian cell lines on a multitude of levels. The tools to create these changes must be accurate, flexible, and scalable. Unfortunately, approaches that work well in some hosts don’t work well in others – necessitating months of research and development on proof of principle and optimization experiments. Researchers are constantly on the lookout for generic tools, much like a Swiss Army Knife, to help accelerate their research.

The last few years have seen a tidal wave of novel genetic engineering tools. Most famous among these tools include: RNA-guided endonucleases (e.g., CRISPR/Cas9 in its many formats), TALENs, Zinc finger nucleases, meganucleases, Flip-FRT recombination, and transposons. Just like restriction enzymes in the NEB catalog, each genome editing tool has its pros and cons. This workshop will focus on these tools through the lens of industry and how traditional and next generation genetic engineering tools are applied in a high-throughput setting.

Who should attend?

The workshop should be attended by scientists new to genome engineering and interested in getting an overview of the emerging genome engineering toolbox. Experienced scientists will also appreciate the industrial angle the presenters provide. Topics will be discussed broadly so that non-scientists will be able to come away with an appreciation for emerging tools and technologies increasingly available to edit genomes with high precision.

How to Register

You can register for the workshop with your SIMB Annual Meeting registration (online or registration form). For more info, go to the registration page page.

If you wish to attend the workshop only (and not the SIMB Annual Meeting), you may register online and select “Workshop Attendee Only” as your registration fee. Or, you may fill out the SIMB Annual Meeting registration form.

SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Marriott Wardman Park Hotel


Claes Gustafsson – ATUM

ATUM is pioneering the use of synthetic biology and machine learning to engineer genes, proteins and genomes across a multitude of commercial applications. As ATUMís Co-Founder and CCO, Dr. Gustafsson oversees all of the companyís partnered scientific programs for gene, protein and genome engineering. Prior to co-founding ATUM in 2003, Gustafsson developed fungal genome engineering technologies and led the bioinformatics team at Maxygen for five years. Claes has also held scientist positions at Kosan Biosciences where he engineered Streptomyces to produce novel polyketides, as well as positions at UC Santa Cruz under Prof Harry Noller and UC San Francisco under Prof Dan Santi. He holds ~50 issued US patents and has published ~50 scientific papers. Gustafsson received his PhD 1992 from the University of UmeÂ, Sweden where he studied translation under Prof Glenn Bjˆrk.

Shawn Szyjka – Zymergen

Shawn Szyjka is currently an Associate Director within the Platform Research & Development group at Zymergen. The group’s core mission is to identify and test step-change technologies, which can then be deployed at production scale. At Zymergen, Shawn leads multiple genome editing projects leveraging biology, software, and automation to accelerate hit identification and stacking into a variety of industrial microbes. Previously, Shawn was at Sapphire Energy where he was responsible for developing genetic tools to edit algal genomes. During his time there, Shawn led the first outdoor piloting of a genetically engineered algal strain; a collaboration between Sapphire Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and UC San Diego. Shawn earned his Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of Southern California where he studied DNA replication fork dynamics and cell cycle checkpoints in Dr. Oscar Aparicio’s lab.


SIMB Member $350
Nonmember $525
Student $225

SIMB Member $450
Nonmember $625
Student $225

Cost includes workshop materials, breakfast, lunch, and 2 breaks.

Limit: 30 attendees