Open collaboration supporting the science and engineering of building synthetic cells

What is Build-A-Cell?

Cells are the fundamental "building blocks" that make up living organisms. Yet, we don't know exactly how cells were formed in the first place. We also don't know what all the molecules that make up any natural cell do. Finally, we can't yet put molecules together ourselves to make new synthetic cells.

Addressing the questions and challenges posed above requires significant collaboration and cooperation. The Build-a-Cell community welcomes all who wish to learn about and cooperate in the work of fully understanding and engineering a diversity of synthetic cells.

The future of biotechnology is in realizing fully understood, lineage agnostic organisms, beginning with single cells.

Building cells is hard. But, if we could better work together, then we should be able to build many cells for many purposes. Build-A-Cell is an open community supporting people working together to build a diversity of synthetic cells.

Current, very brief overview of synthetic cell field.

Build-a-Cell Workshop #6

January 2020 workshop at NASA Ames

Build-a-Cell Workshop #5

August 2019 workshop in Boston

Build-a-Cell Workshop #4

February 2019 workshop at JCVI, La Jolla

Build-a-Cell Workshop #3

August 2018 workshop at University of Minnesota

Build-a-Cell Workshop #2

February 2018 workshop at Stanford

Build-a-Cell Workshop #1

June 2017 workshop at Caltech


We believe in open source science and engineering, and collaborative development. Visit our engineering project for technical information, data, and analysis. If there's anything you'd like to know, ask us, and if there's anything you'd like to add, send a pull request.

If you are interested in synthetic life research and would like to work with us, check out job postings.


Steering group, people responsible for all mistakes

Members and contributors, people getting the work done.

Worldwide collaborators, because building life is an international goal

If you want to join the community working with one of the Build-a-cell member labs, see job postings.

Join the adventure

Join our Slack channel by getting an invite. We can't wait to see you

To receive email updates fill out this google form.

Have feedback, interested in helping out? Drop us a line!

[email protected]