Keystone Symposia

This meeting took place in 2020

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MEETING CANCELLED: Synthetic Biology: At the Crossroads of Genetic Engineering and Human Therapeutics (C5)

Organizer(s) Jose M. Lora and Timothy K. Lu
March 29—April 1, 2020
Beaver Run Resort • Breckenridge, CO USA
Discounted Abstract Deadline: Nov 21, 2019
Abstract Deadline: Dec 19, 2019
Scholarship Deadline: Nov 21, 2019
Discounted Registration Deadline: Jan 28, 2020

Sponsored by Astellas Pharma Inc., BlueRock Therapeutics, Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Editas Medicine

Summary of Meeting:
Synthetic Biology tools and principles have matured tremendously over the last decade and have reached extraordinary levels of sophistication, both in eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems. Synthetic biology as a therapeutic modality is starting to enter multiple clinical studies and has the potential to have a significant impact on medicine across a wide range of diseases (e.g., metabolic, immune-mediated, cancer, and neurologic diseases). This Keystone Symposia conference will delve into the field of synthetic biology with a special emphasis on its applications to medicine. While there are conferences that capture synthetic biology in only a few talks mixed in among other various topics, there is a paucity of conferences focused on synthetic biology as drugs to treat disease. However, due to the rapid pace of fundamental scientific advances along with an expanding number of biotechnology companies and emerging clinical studies with synthetic biology at their core, this conference will be highly relevant for a wide audience of scientists both from academia and industry. In addition, other meetings in this field have a highly technology-driven focus on synthetic biology techniques with relatively little attention given to biological and medical context. Ultimately, this Keystone Symposia conference should inspire researchers from diverse backgrounds to discuss synthetic biology via many new angles.

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Scholarship / Award Information


Keystone Symposia is offering scholarships of up to 1,200 USD to Students and Postdoctoral fellows. These scholarships are to be used to help defray the expenses associated with conference attendance, including airfare (restrictions may apply based on funding source), ground transportation, lodging costs, and a portion of meeting registration. Receipts will be required to receive reimbursement.

Abstracts submitted for poster presentation will be used as the basis for awarding the scholarships. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on the quality of science of the abstract and the relevance of the abstract to the conference topic. Only one application per abstract is accepted. Only one award per lab will be allocated.


To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be:

A graduate student or postdoctoral fellow currently enrolled in an academic institute at the start of the meeting for which you are applying. Note: a graduate student is defined as a student who is studying for a higher degree at an academic institution. A postdoctoral fellow is defined as an individual with a Ph.D., M.D., or DVM degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue their desired career path, and is within 6 years of these degrees.

Review Criteria

Criteria for Abstract Review:

  1. Relevance to the meeting topic
  2. Significance of the scientific question and results
  3. Style
    • Organization (e.g. the abstract has a clear beginning, middle and end)
    • Grammar and spelling
  4. Clarity of scientific presentations
    • Clear question or hypothesis
    • Sufficient background
    • The experimental approach and rationale for the approach are clear
    • The results are clearly presented
    • The interpretation and conclusions are reasonable and logical

Application Process

If you are eligible and wish to be considered for a scholarship, you should complete all of the following by the scholarship deadline for the meeting you wish to attend. It is recommended you begin these steps in advance of the deadline date to ensure completion.

Click here to start a scholarship application.

  See the Scholarship FAQ's

Underrepresented Trainee Scholarships are also available...
Please Click Here for more information about Underrepresented Trainee Scholarship.

  See the Underrepresented Trainee Scholarship FAQ's

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