Shenzhen to Foster Quantitative Biology Stronghold

SHENZHEN, China, Aug. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — An international conference on quantitative biology was held recently in Southern China’s Shenzhen, drawing over 300 participants from more than 20 universities worldwide to discuss illuminating opportunities and shaping the future of quantitative and synthetic biology. 

The Q-Bio International Conference (Hereinafter referred to as the Q-Bio) on Quantitative Biology was first held in 2007, and this is the first time in the last 17 years that the annual conference was held in Asia.  

Jointly organized by the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University, Peking University, and the Shenzhen Institute of Synthetic Biology, the 17th Q-Bio on Quantitative Biology provided a dynamic global platform for fostering exchanges in the realm of quantitative biology and its related fields, said Dr. LIU Chenli from SIAT, one of the main organizers of the conference. 

Quantitative biology, as a typical cutting-edge interdisciplinary field, reveals the design principles and operational laws of biological systems through the organic combination of advanced measurement means and theoretical modeling. 

It holds great significance in human understanding of the nature of life and shows vast potential and application prospects in medicine, energy, materials, agriculture, environment, etc., playing an increasingly important role in research related to human health.  

“Open science and international cooperation are important in addressing humanity’s common challenges and major scientific issues through cutting-edge basic research including synthetic biology,” said LIU at the opening ceremony of the conference. 

Synthetic biology has its interdisciplinary nature and it’s important in advancing our understanding of life’s fundamental principles. “Synthetic biology has potential applications in diverse fields such as medicine, energy, materials, agriculture, and the environment,” said Dr. WEI Ping, a representative of the organizing committee and a researcher from SIAT. 

“It is important to establish an interdisciplinary and comprehensive developmental exchange platform and an internationalized environment to further enhance the growing reputation of Shenzhen in the field of synthetic biology,” said WEI.  

The Q-Bio aims to build Shenzhen an “international exchange platform + multidimensional resource collaboration + scientific achievements sharing + accelerated industrial transformation” on synthetic biology. 

Shenzhen is like a hub of innovation, becoming a world-class center for science and education,” said Professor Mogens Høgh Jensen, from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. He expressed hope for increased collaboration among teams from different countries, especially in exploring the integration of physics and biology.  

A forward-thinking strategy covering various aspects, from basic research to industrial transformation, is crucial for the development of synthetic biology. “This strategy will drive the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and foresees more fruitful cooperation and successful project implementations resulting from this grand conference,” said Professor TANG Lei Han from Hong Kong Baptist University.  

The Q-bio Conference and the associated Q-bio Summer School were started in 2007 by a prescient group of researchers based at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of New Mexico who envisioned a systems biology community focused on modeling, simulations and targeted experiments to advance the fundamental understanding of biological regulation.