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Biophysical Sciences Institute

Physics of Life Biocomputation Workshop

28-29 March 2017, St Chad's College, Durham University

The ability of living systems store and process complex genetic information in a manner that is responsive to the external environment has inspired the development of the multidisciplinary field of Biocomputation, which aims to build computational devices using biomolecular systems.

Image right: A DNA torc folded as a treefoil. Courtesy of Dr Agnes Noy, University of York.

Workshop Aims

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers with expertise or interest in biocomputation with specialists in gene regulation, bioinformatics, biochemical network modelling and computer science. Topics for discussion will include

  1. Biocomputation: The state of the art, successes and difficulties
    Bacterial and eukaryotic gene regulation, minimal organsims: How can we learn from life?
  2. Languages and models for bioinformatics and biocomputation: How do we represent and describe the complex network of interactions between computing biological components?
  3. Measurement and detection: What experimental tools are available for detecting the output of a biocomputation? Is there potential for both single molecule and thermodynamically averaged devices? What are the merit and limitations of each?
  4. Understanding and applications: What are the potential future applications for this technology? What new scientific insights could be gained?


Please register using the online form or by email to

Please note that there are a limited number of Durham University College rooms available.

Registration for this event will close on Tuesday 21st March.

This event is heavily subsidised by PoLNet2 and by the Durham Biophysical Sciences Institute. Registration includes accommodation for the night of the 28 March and all meeting costs. Additional accommodation and travel costs cannot be covered by the meeting organisers except in special circumstances (please email for advice or contact St Chad's College directly for additional nights).

Registration Fee: £20. This is payable by the following methods:

  • Direct bank transfer (BACS): Please contact for more details.
  • Telephone payment (0191 334 6912): Please quote "Physics of Life Biocomputation Workshop" when making the payment.
  • Cheque: Please make any cheques payable to Durham University and send to the following address: Alex Probert, C/O Department of Chemistry, Biophysical Sciences Institute, Durham University, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE.


Image courtesy of Durham University

Workshop Organisation: Dr Sarah Harris (University of Leeds); Dr Dominic Horsman (Durham University); Dr Viv Kendon (Durham University); Dr Anges Noy (University of York); Professor Susan Stepney (University of York).

About the Durham Biophysical Sciences Institute

"The BSI is a community of interdisciplinary academics, researchers and students who have research interests at the boundary between the life sciences and the other sciences including physics, chemistry and psychology, as well as mathematics and engineering."

- Professor John Girkin, BSI Director.

The Howard Lecture Prize

This annual lecture takes place in the autumn of each year and celebrates the research of a world leading early to mid-career stage academic.

Nominations for the 2017 Prize are now being accepted. Please email with your nomination.