Control of biochemical processes has a long history, spanning applications as diverse as early beer brewing through latest large-scale synthesis of biofuels. Most biochemical processes in nature and industry depend on interactions among a community of multiple microbial species, resulting in complex behaviors that could not be observed in presence of a single species.
Current laboratory research has demonstrated the possibility to dynamically control biological processes in microorganisms even at the level of single cells, directly coping with the inherent variability across individual cell responses. These achievements of systems and synthetic biology carry great potential but also pose major challenges for real-world applications.
The Inria Project-Lab (IPL) CoSy is a research effort to address optimal control of synthetic microbial communities from fundamental research toward potential applications in biotechnology and biomedicine, among others. A consortium composed of 5 Inria Project-teams as well as 3 external partners blends competences in mathematical modelling, control theory, biology and biophysics to address this endeavor at the forefront of interdisciplinary research.