Synthetic Biology

We’re seeking exceptional faculty to move Mizzou Forward in Synthetic Biology research areas. To further interdisciplinary collaboration, the university will consider faculty candidates in several areas of research.

Research Areas

Synthetic biology applies the tools of physics, math, chemistry and engineering to redesign or develop novel systems and materials that mimic biological organisms or processes, and to instantiate new functions in existing biological cells. This field of research enables the creation of new products and services to address challenges around health care, food security and sustainability. Researchers in this area:

  • Develop crops aimed at solving global nutritional challenges such as protein availability. 
  • Create food crops that are drought and pest resistant as a solution to food shortages. 
  •  Create crops that can be used as a renewable source of biofuels. 
  •  Solutions to food and nutrition shortages that directly save and improve lives, in our community, our state, and in our world. 

Candidates with compelling research success outside these categories will also be considered.

Biology Lab

Apply or Nominate a Researcher

A successful MizzouForward candidate is an accomplished researcher with a passion for collaboration and the desire to address our world’s most pressing needs. The colleagues we’re looking to recruit possess:

  • A proven track record of external research funding, particularly from federal agencies
  • A research agenda that complements the goals of MizzouForward
  • A strong publication record
  • Evidence of external recognition of one’s work, such as national awards and honors, membership with national academies, etc.
  • Interdisciplinary research that has the potential to impact multiple disciplines

If you’re interested in learning more or you know an exceptional investigator who can help us reach our research goals, we want to hear from you. Faculty ready to move Mizzou forward should apply now.

Why Synthetic Biology at MIzzou?

Mizzou is uniquely positioned to play a key role becoming a national leader in Synthetic Biology. Mizzou has a number of interdisciplinary resources to further exploration of this work. For example: 


  • The MU Materials Science & Engineering Institute (MUMSEI) fosters collaboration around research in a variety of materials, including biomaterials, soft materials and tools for biological network modeling. 
  • The Bioinformatics and Machine Learning Lab focuses on applying bioinformatics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to protein structure, interaction and function prediction; 3D genome structure modeling; and biological network modeling on omics data.  
  • Mizzou is already leading the way in collaborative synthetic plant biology through the Interdisciplinary Plant Group, one of the oldest and most successful collaborative research centers on campus. Established in 1981, IPG houses more than 50 faculty-led research teams that combine the expertise of three colleges: A&S, Engineering, and CAFNR. Together they are pursuing novel, creative, and transformative ideas in the field of plant biology. 
  • Within the Danforth Center, experts lead and work on research teams to unlock the power of plants as food, fuel, providers of cleaner air and water, and solutions to global food security. 
  • Biological Sciences is home to a large plant biology team of experts. Their goal is to unlock the solutions to real-world problems they know are hidden in plants. 
  • Biological Sciences is also home to a strong, collaborative group of experts in the field of genetics. This team uses innovative research to explore the power of genetics in everything from crops to how cells communicate with each other as a tumor develops and grows. Together they pursue new solutions that save and improve lives. 
  • Bond Life Sciences Center and labs provide unmatched opportunities for interdisciplinary biomedical-science and agricultural-biotechnology research. 
  • MU Livestock Engineering Team along with the National Swine Resource and Research Center (NSRRC) continue to train undergraduates, graduate students, Post-Docs, Resident DVMs, and Research Scientists in various aspects of swine husbandry, veterinary care, genetic engineering, in vitro embryo production, infectious diseases, and basic and applied research. 

Synthetic Biology Advisory Committee

MizzouForward is comprised of multiple advisory committees. Each committee is interdisciplinary in its composition and they review the applicant materials, conduct Zoom interviews with candidates and make recommendations to the hiring authorities.