Synthetic Biology and its Applications

On-site in Tartu 28 July – 7 August 2024

The summer school aims to provide an overview of synthetic biology advances and their applications. This course is designed for high school students. This course provides an overview of how study life looks like in our university. Students will get hands-on experience in molecular cloning and genetic engineering by visiting the University of Tartu research centres.

Laboratory work will focus on genetically modifying yeast to produce carotenes and violacein, extracting them from yeast cells, and analysing the results via HPLC and TLC. 

Carotenes and violaceins are colourful chemical compounds and have a wide range of applications. For example, carotenes are used in cosmetics and the food industry, and violaceins possess antimicrobial and antitumor properties that have great potential in medicine. Students will learn how society could utilise synthetic biology to decrease the production price and reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact compared to conventional production methods. 

Students will learn how to work in the molecular biology lab, safety rules, and how to operate laboratory equipment (e.g., PCR machines, centrifuges, vortexes, thermostats, etc.). Students will also create artworks using yeast cells that synthesise carotenes and violaceins.

Focus area: Applied Biotechnology, Synthetic Biology, Bioengineering Coordinating unit at UT

Institute of Technology

Study Field: Science and Technology, Bioengineering Course Leader Ilona Faustova, Associate Professor in Molecular Biology
Format Hands-on workshop Location Tartu, Estonia
Course dates: 28 July - 7 August 2024 Apply by: 30 April 2024
ECTS: 2 Fee: 600 €
Study group High school students, beginner level BSc Language English


  • Ilona Faustova, Associate Professor in Molecular Biology, Programme Director of Science & Technology and Bioengineering programmes
  • Artemi Maljavin, PhD student
  • Kristina Reinmets, Research Fellow in Synthetic Biology
  • Amedeo Pagliotto, Junior Research Fellow in Technology
  • Science & Technology students

Two weeks prior to the start of the programme an information file will be sent to all participants. This file contains the daily schedule and relevant contact information of the programme managers.

Students are responsible for their travel, accommodation and travel insurance (visa arrangements if needed) from their home country to Tartu and back to their home country. It is recommended to visit the Tartu Welcome Centre website and arrival and housing section to find accommodation opportunities.

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Janina Participants of the Summer School from Germany

2 weeks of personal growth surrounded by the best people

UniTartu Summer School 2023

UniTartu Summer School application period ends on 30 April