The CyGenTiG team at the University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is one of Europe’s strongest seats of learning, and ranked 4thin the UK for research strength in the recent UK Research Evaluation Framework, 5th in Europe for Life Sciences and 7th in Europe for overall reputation (T.H.E. World Reputation Rankings 2015). It has over 7,000 staff and a student population of 20,000.The University has a major presence in the field of synthetic biology, and houses one of the UK government-funded Synthetic Biology Research Centres, Synthsys Mammalian (£12 Million). It also has a major investment in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, housing the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine. The University provides a first-class research and training environment.

Prof. Dr. Jamie Davies
Prof. Davies leads an interdisciplinary group that focuses on self-organizing systems in biology, and on tools to investigate them. Working since 1995 on mechanisms of natural organ development, his lab has also, in the last decade, applied this knowledge to the tissue engineering or organs. They produced the first, crude engineered renal tissue in 2010, and have been improving the techniques since. In 2008, Davies wrote the first paper on the potential of synthetic morphology, and his lab has produced a range of synthetic biological modules for driving patterning and morphogenetic events in mammalian cells. The lab also hosts IUPHAR’s main database on pharmacological tools. Davies appears in the Web of Science list of the world’s 0.1% most-cited researchers (

Dr. Elva Chang
Elva Chang obtained her BSc degree of biotechnology at China pharmacology University. She then worked at Lianyungang Traditional Chinese Medicine Higher Vocational Technical School before she did her postgraduate research at the University of Edinburgh. She received her PhD in Chris Gregory’s group at University of Edinburgh, where she investigated the trophic roles of apoptotic tumour cells using zebrafish models by xenotransplantation, genetic manipulation and live imaging in real time. She joined Jamie Davies’s Group to work on optogenetic control of mammalian cell for use in stem cell differentiation and embryonic kidney development.

Dr. Ian Holland
Ian Holland received his MEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath and then began a role as a project engineer in the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industry. He transitioned into research and in 2016 received an Engineering Doctorate from the University of Strathclyde, investigating the electrical impedance characteristics of cardiovascular cells alongside integrated bespoke microscopy. In 2017 he followed this up with a post-doc developing novel fabrication technologies for tissue engineered vasculature. He joined the University of Edinburgh’s CyGenTig team in 2019 to further work at the interface between engineering and biology.