Researchers of the University of Tartu create a centre for developing designer cells with new functions | University of Tartu
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Jakobi 2 - 116-121, 51014, Tartu
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    Ülikooli 18-310, 50090, Tartu
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    Lossi 3, 51003, Tartu
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Faculty of Social Sciences
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(+372) 737 5957
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Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
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    Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
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    Salme 1a, room 29, 50103, Tartu
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    Lossi 36, roomm 301, 51003, Tartu
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    Näituse 2, 50409, Tartu
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    Näituse 20, 50409, Tartu
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    Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
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    Raekoja plats 2, 20307, Narva
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    Ringi 35, 80012, Pärnu
Faculty of Medicine
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(+372) 737 5326
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Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
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    Raekoja plats 6, 51003, Tartu
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    L. Puusepa 8, 51014, Tartu, Eesti
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    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
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    Jakobi 5-205, 51014, Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
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(+372) 737 5820
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Vanemuise 46-208, 51014, Tartu
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    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46 - 208, 51014, Tartu
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    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
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    Mäealuse 14, 12618, Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
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    W. Ostwaldi Str 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5261
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    Ravila 14a, 50411, Tartu
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    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
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    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b-134, 51010, Tartu
  • Institute of Technology
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    Nooruse 1, 50411, Tartu
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    Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu
Institutions
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    W.Struve 1, 50091, Tartu
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    Lossi 38, 51003, Tartu
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  • Museum
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    Lossi 25, 51014, Tartu
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Support Units
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    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
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    Jakobi 4, 51014, Tartu
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    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
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    Ülikooli 17-114, 51014, Tartu
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    Ülikooli 18, ruum 210, 50090, Tartu
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    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III korrus, 51003, Tartu
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    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090, Tartu
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    Faculty address: 
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Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
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    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
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    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
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    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
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    +372 737 5852
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    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2 - 116-121, 51014, Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116 - 121, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, III, rooms 309-352, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003, Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18-310, 50090, Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, 51003, Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004, Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a, room 29, 50103, Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, roomm 301, 51003, Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6310
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 4, 50409, Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5902
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 2, 50409, Tartu
  • School of Law
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5390
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 20, 50409, Tartu
  • Institute of Social Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5188
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Narva College
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 740 1900
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 2, 20307, Narva
  • Pärnu College
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 445 0520
    Faculty address: 
    Ringi 35, 80012, Pärnu
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5326
Faculty address: 
Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5326
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +(372) 737 4210
    Faculty address: 
    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5286
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Dentistry
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 731 9856
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 6, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5323
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 51014, Tartu, Eesti
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 4190
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5360
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5-205, 51014, Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46-208, 51014, Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5820
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46 - 208, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618, Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi Str 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5261
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5860
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5011
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b-134, 51010, Tartu
  • Institute of Technology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 4800
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5835
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu
Institutions
  • Library
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5702
    Faculty address: 
    W.Struve 1, 50091, Tartu
  • Youth Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5581
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 38, 51003, Tartu
  • Estonian Genome Center
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 4000
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010, Tartu
  • Museum
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5674
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 25, 51014, Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6076
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6600
    Faculty address: 
    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51014, Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6000, arvutiabi: 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 17-114, 51014, Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, ruum 210, 50090, Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090, Tartu
  • Office of Research and Development
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6192
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III korrus, 51003, Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090, Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 51014, Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5400
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51014, Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Researchers of the University of Tartu create a centre for developing designer cells with new functions

The financial support of 2.5 million euros received from the ERA Chair measure of the European Commission strengthens the starting position of the synthetic biology centre set up at the Institute of Technology of the University of Tartu. Synthetic biology is a new research field that has gained attention in the past few years. It aims to construct cells with new functions that may in the future change entire industries.

Professor of Molecular Systems Biology of the University of Tartu and coordinator of the project Mart Loog is glad that the top-level experts of the European Commission have highly evaluated the creation of the centre. Now the UT researchers are one step closer to bringing the centre to life.

According to Loog, the objective of synthetic biology is to construct cells with new functions – reprogram the biomolecular systems in cells.

“In the future, such designer cells will change entire industries, as they can be programmed to fulfil various practical tasks, such as the production of chemicals or medicines or the diagnosis of diseases,” said Loog, adding that interesting application opportunities are also offered by sets of microbes that have been designed ‘intelligent’ and are able to make complex calculations to create meaningful communication between the cells of the set.

The difference of synthetic biology from bio- and gene technology that have been known for decades lies in the fact that in synthetic biology, a much wider-based system design proceeding from standards and modules is used in designer cells. The prerequisite for this approach is synthetic DNA the price of which has dropped significantly in the recent years: it allows reprogramming the DNA code of cells quickly and practically without any limits.

In addition to biologists and chemists, the possibility of systematic approach in cell design has attracted many people with engineering background to join the synthetic biology centres of top universities of the world. Synthetic biology has become a truly interdisciplinary field of research.

According to Mart Loog, the ERA Chair project helps to bring necessary competence to the centre: recruit specialists with a background in high-level synthetic biology to do research at the University of Tartu or even an entire team of such specialists.

“The situation at the Institute of Technology is rather unique, as we have excellent laboratories for all main cell systems used in synthetic biology: mammalian cells, plant cells, bacteria and yeast. In addition, we have a strong support in engineering thanks to the intelligent materials and devices lab. So what might have been considered a weird combination in the first years of the institute may become an ideal setting for bringing biology and engineering together under the name of synthetic biology in the future,” said Loog.

The ERA Chair project will also significantly contribute to increasing the quality of doctoral and master’s studies. In addition, the future chair of synthetic biology will have an important role in the new English-taught bachelor’s curriculum in Science and Technology.

The centre is planned to include a core laboratory with specific equipment that allows research labs and spin-off companies easily test the designer cell prototypes they have created so that they could arrive at their real implementation faster and with less financial cost.

“The centre to be created under the leadership of Mart Loog will cover all most important fields of action in synthetic biology for the University of Tartu, thanks to which we can become a research and development partner to new rapidly developing innovative industries. On one hand, this contributes to the development of research thanks to high‑quality international frontier basic research and on the other hand creates a competitive advantage for new enterprises,” said the Vice Rector for Research of the University of Tartu Marco Kirm.

According to Kirm, the centre’s contribution to teaching is equally valuable and important, as it will lead to a future generation of new researchers and innovation-minded entrepreneurs.

Additional information: Mart Loog, Professor of Molecular Systems Biology, project coordinator, tel: +372 517 5698, email: mart.loog [ät] ut.ee.

Virge Tamme
Press Officer of the UT
Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5815 5392
E-mail: virge.tamme [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee