Gen9 Announces University of East Anglia and Start-up Company Biosyntia are Winners of Fourth Annual G-Prize

1 million base pairs of DNA awarded to support leading-edge projects in plant cell signaling and vitamin cell factory development

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--Gen9, Inc., a pioneer in the development of scalable technologies for synthesizing and assembling DNA, today announced the winners of its fourth annual G-Prize contest. Ben Miller, Ph.D., Research Fellow in Synthetic Biology at University of East Anglia (UEA) and Biosyntia were selected by an independent panel of judges for their entries showcasing creative usage of synthetic biology to accelerate research and product development. Each winner will receive 500,000 base pairs of synthetic DNA manufactured on Gen9’s BioFab® platform.

Dr. Miller was awarded the G-Prize academic track for his proposal for re-wiring signaling circuits in plants by decoding calcium signals. His research will provide tremendous insight into yield and productivity constraints placed on plants by high-stress environmental conditions, and will create a system for the discovery of new biotechnology targets to improve crop performance.

“Being named as a winner of the G-Prize is a great accomplishment for our lab and will have lasting ramifications on our research,” said Dr. Miller. “By using our rationally designed approach and building calcium-decoding proteins from scratch with Gen9 DNA, we will be able to test a great number of variables concurrently and gather insights regarding plant behavior and stress responses much more quickly than before.”

The G-Prize start-up track prize was awarded to Biosyntia. The winning project from Biosyntia involves the creation of engineered cell factories for the production of natural vitamins. Biosyntia will use Gen9 DNA to develop an integrated pipeline that combines the power of gene synthesis with synthetic selections for optimization of vitamin metabolic pathways.

“Gen9’s technology complements our own pre-existing technologies, allowing us to break free of the confines of native metabolism and test more efficient enzymes from the great treasures of nature,” said Hans Genee, Co-Founder and CSO at Biosyntia. “Winning the G-Prize grants us access to the large amount of synthetic DNA that we need to achieve our research goals.”

“When we created the G-Prize, we wanted to inspire scientists to think big as they design their projects. With a record number of G-Prize applications and the tremendous interest in our high-throughput DNA synthesis technology, it’s clear that scientists are doing just that,” said Kevin Munnelly, President and CEO of Gen9. “We are thrilled to be a part of the progressive research underway at Dr. Miller’s lab and at Biosyntia.”

The G-Prize contest was launched by Gen9 in 2012 to support innovation in the field of synthetic biology. Past G-Prize awards have fueled innovative research projects in fields as diverse as development of renewable energy sources, reprogramming protein interactions, deciphering cellular networks, computational design of antibodies, and microbial refactoring for space exploration.

For more information about the G-Prize and its winners, please visit

About Gen9

Gen9 is the premier next-generation gene synthesis company focused on high-quality, high-throughput, automated production of DNA constructs. The Gen9 technology allows for the lowest-cost and highest-quality DNA constructs commercially available. Founded by world leaders in synthetic biology, Gen9 aims to ensure the constructive application of synthetic biology in industries ranging from enzyme and chemical production to pharmaceuticals and biofuels. Gen9 is powering the synthetic biology revolution from our headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Visit Gen9 at

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Chempetitive Group for Gen9
Janice Foley, 617-823-5555

Release Summary

Gen9 Announces Winners of Fourth Annual G-Prize


Chempetitive Group for Gen9
Janice Foley, 617-823-5555