Workshop on Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems
Virtual workshop on Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems (M-CELS), to be 1-3 June 2021.
Multi-cellular engineered living systems (M-CELS) are purpose-driven living systems with multiple interacting living components. They are engineered for specific goals or functions but take emergence into account during the design process, allowing the final system to emerge through natural and non-natural biological processes. M-CELS research is intended to provide a fundamental engineering understanding that enables a quantitative approach bridging between single cells and organs or organisms. The field is still developing, so M-CELS as a field of research is still rapidly expanding.
As these technical capabilities and scientific understanding grow, it is critical to address the full scope of M-CELS research and applications, their manufacture, their eventual impact on the international economy and US competitiveness, their standardization and regulation, and the ethical issues that will inevitably arise. This includes issues such as standards and elements of a pragmatic system for M-CELS, such as regulations and policy, economics and international competitiveness, and clinical and translational research.
This workshop will bring together many of the leaders in the field to explore the technical, ethical, and societal challenges of building M-CELS. In the past few years, significant research advances have been made, paving the way for more practical conversations around issues such as regulation, public engagement, and manufacturing. A primary goal of this event will be to build capacity for societally-responsible M-CELS research and translation by convening targeted conversations around existing and entirely new applications, design principles, manufacture, ethics, policy, communication, diversity, manufacturing, and regulation. We anticipate that participation in the workshop will lead to cross-disciplinary collaborations among attendees and a shared understanding of the path forward for M-CELS.