Café des Sciences: Engineering Microbes as Living Sensors

Prof. Mario Andrea Marchisio, Post-Doctor from ETH Zurich, will give us a glance at his research on engineering microbes as living sensors.

Date: 20 June 2019

Venue: Chronus Art Center, Building 18, No.50 Moganshan Road, Shanghai

Language: English (with consecutive Chinese translation)


Co-organized with Chronus Art Center, Swissnex in China is presenting the 6th Café des Sciences Lecture with the focus on Synthetic Biology. Prof. Mario Andrea Marchisio, Post-Doctor graduated from ETH-Zurich, will give us a glance at his research on engineering microbes as living sensors.

In Synthetic Biology, living cells are genetically modified in order to carry out specific functions, different from their natural ones. In particular, circuits made of interacting DNA sequences can be “switched on” only by selected chemicals and, therefore, used as biosensors. Prof. Marchisio’s research tries to bring together computational methods and wet-lab techniques for the design, modeling, and implementation of biosensors in the baker yeast S. cerevisiae. The outcome of their work might be useful for improving circuits in higher eukaryotes, such as the genetic classifiers built to signal the presence of sick cells.

In addition to Prof. Marchisio’s talk, guests of the lecture are welcomed to join the guided tour of the current Exhibition – Growing at Chronus Art Center, featuring the works by four pioneering artists working at the intersection of living organism, synthetic biology and ecological activism.




18:00-18:30                 Guided Tour of the Exhibition – Growing


18:30-18:35                 Welcome & Introduction
by Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul & CEO, Swissnex in China


18:35-19:15                  Presentation
by Prof. Mario Andrea Marchisio, Associate Professor, Tianjin University


19:15-19:35                  Q&A Session


19:35-20:30                Networking Reception



Mario Andrea Marchisio

Associate Professor in Synthetic Biology, Tianjin University

Mario Andrea Marchisio is an Associate Professor in Synthetic Biology at Tianjin University. Previously, he held the same position, for about five years, at the Harbin Institute of Technology. He did his studies in Italy and got a PhD in Physics at the University of Trento. After working at the CILEA supercomputing center near Milan, he moved to ETH Zurich, where he spent six years as a Post Doc both in computational and experimental Synthetic Biology. His research field, Synthetic Biology, is a new discipline sometimes referred to as life engineering. The main goal of Synthetic Biology is to modify cells with the insertion of circuits, made of DNA, that carry out specific functions.



Café des Sciences

Shanghai | Every third Thursday each month 2019

Café des Sciences is a new format at Swissnex in China offering a monthly platform for Swiss Spotlight Scientists and Start-ups to present their projects and connect with the local community. The lectures will offer a casual setting in which speakers can present their work and engage with the attendees during a Q&A period. Audience are welcome to enjoy the networking reception with Swiss flavour after the talk. The lecture is scheduled to take place every third Thursday each month at Swissnex in China or our partner spaces.