International Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School (SSBSS)

International Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School (SSBSS) was held in Scuola Normale Superiore – Pisa, Tuscany, Italy (22-26 June). The summer school included 40 hours of lectures from the pioneers in the field including Jason Chin (MRC, Cambridge), Adam Arkin (UC Berkeley, USA), Ron Weiss (MIT, USA), Karen Polizzi (Imperial College London) and Virginia Cornish (Columbia University, USA). Each speaker first introduced the basic concepts related to their expertise; and then described the developments in the field. It was a great opportunity to learn about the recent advances in synthetic biology.

Although I was the only one from  ICCVS participating to the summer school this year, I believe that more members from our team will attend in the following years. The summer school was quite interdisciplinary, and it was related to many subjects such as cancer, immunology and mathematical modelling. Besides the lectures, poster sessions created the ideal environment to have scientific discussions with peers (mostly masters, PhDs or postdocs) and lecturers.

In addition to the scientific fulfillment, I also had a lot of fun at the summer school. We managed to visit Florence and Cinque Terre with my friends – whom I met there – in our spare time. We had tons of good food, coffee and memories. I would definitely suggest going to this summer school. Only thing is, mosquitos in Italy have no mercy, so make sure you bring tons of mosquito repellent!

Elif Gediz Kocaoglan