OMU News

Aug 2, 2023

Professor from the J. Craig Venter Institute, delivers a special lecture on the minimal cell

On July 21, 2023, Professor John Glass - Synthetic Biology Team Leader at the J. Craig Venter Institute, USA, delivered a special lecture at the Sugimoto Campus.

The J. Craig Venter Institute, known for its research on the human genome, has made outstanding achievements in the field of synthetic biology, including chemical synthesis, replacement, and computational design of genomic DNA, with the aim of understanding life. In particular, the minimal synthetic bacteria syn3.0, released in 2016, made a great impact on the world.

Professor John Glass

Professor Makoto Miyata

The lecture titled, “Design, construction and analysis of a synthetic minimal bacterial cell” was well attended by OMU faculty and students, moderated by Professor Makoto Miyata of the Graduate School of Science.

During the lecture, Professor Glass gave the audience an overview of his research, history, present and future prospects. “The reason for the interest in the minimal cell is that it contains only the essential genes for independent growth conditions under lab conditions. If the function of every gene is known, then it may be possible to gain a complete understanding of what it takes to be alive!” he enthused. 

Professor Glass also spoke about his future prospects, such as a project currently underway that he hopes will lead to the application of the minimal cell in treatment of cancers such as colon cancer. “We are developing algorithms for genome scale redesign which will allow us to redesign microbes for industry, agriculture or medicine in the future” he concluded. 

The lecture was followed by a lively Q&A session between the students and professors.

Q&A session

The audience during the lecture

Related information

Special lecture: Minimal Synthetic Bacteria by J. Craig Venter Institute (YouTube)


Professor Makoto Miyata, Graduate School of Science
E-mail miyata[at]

Please change [at] to @.


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