Educator Training-CSHL DNA Learning Center
15 educators collaborating and using laptops in the DNALC computer laboratory during training

Educator Training

We offer up-to-date teacher training through biology workshops and professional development for teachers in genetics and biotechnology. With federal and private foundation funding, we offer these free workshops to middle school, high school, and college educators, especially those in the areas of genetics, biology, genomics, and bioinformatics.

(FULL) Biomanufacturing: Cell-free Gene Expression and Bacteriophage Production
A Practical Workshop for Bioscience Educators

March 4–6, 2024 (Monday to Wednesday)

University of Minnesota-St. Paul Campus
Biological Sciences Center

Logo of University of Minnesota

Synthetic biology and biomanufacturing are buzzwords of an emerging bioeconomy based on our increasing ability to manipulate living systems. Join Vincent Noireaux, a founder of the annual Synthetic Biology course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), to come up-to-the minute with a new, cell-free transcription-translation (TXTL) system he pioneered to engineer and manufacture bacteriophages in vitro.

This work is the latest in a distinguished lineage of (bacterio)phage research, which began at CSHL and provided the first tools to explore the molecular mechanics of living cells. The “Phage Course,” founded at CSHL in 1945 by Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria, trained the first two generations of molecular biologists. Al Hershey and Martha Chase’s “blender experiment,” conducted at CSHL in 1952, provided conclusive evidence that DNA is the molecule of heredity. Delbrück, Luria, and Hershey shared the 1969 Nobel Prize for this seminal work.

Now, phage therapy is used to control bacterial infections in medicine and agriculture. Phages provide a virtually limitless resource of bioactive materials that are increasingly exploited in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and bioremediation. In education, the SEA-PHAGES Program of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is one of the most widely implemented infrastructures for course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). Cell-free TXTL is a logical next step for students who have been exposed to phage and/or bacterial genetics, providing them an opportunity to explore the use of phages in biomanufacturing.

Workshop participants will carry out cell-free TXTL with reporter genes (short DNAs) and whole bacteriophage genomes (long DNAs). Spotting assays and plate readers will be used to confirm the activity of engineered phages, as well as kinetics of phage assembly. Nanopore sequencing will be introduced as a method to confirm new phage constructs.

A $500 stipend will be provided. Travel funds available.


  • In-person free workshop
  • $500 stipend
  • March 4–6, 2024
  • University of Minnesota-St. Paul Campus
    Biological Sciences Center

    1445 Gortner Avenue
    Saint Paul, MN 55108
  • Workshop schedule (PDF)

Learn More

Prototyping, self-assembly, minimal cell

Sites of Major DNALC Faculty Workshops, 1985-2014

This map shows the locations of the DNALC's faculty workshops taught over more than thirty years.

Open the map key map key to show/hide the years in groups of three. Click the check boxes to show or hide the years. Click the dots for information on host institution, year, and instructional level of participating faculty. Map can be opened full screen in a separate browser window by clicking the full screen icon at the upper-right.