Selecting your Synthetase

Expanding GCE Chemistries

August 2-8, 2024 • Oregon State University

Date: August 2-8, 2024
Location: GCE4-All Research Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Applications Open in March

Applications will be accepted until the workshop is full.

Course Fee:

Academic $2,250 until May 15th, and $3000 after May 15th.

Industrial $4,200 until May 15th and $5,000 after May 15th.

Workshop Application Instructions:

Application vs. Registration: Completing an application will not register you to attend, nor does it guarantee acceptance to attend. Registration can only be completed once you have been accepted by the Conference Committee/Chair. If accepted you will be notified via email with an unpublished link to register for the conference. Registration and payment arrangements are expected at that time.

Description: The 2024 GCE4All Center Workshop will focus on the theory and practice of engineering amino-acyl tRNA synthetase (RS)/tRNA pairs for the encoding of non-canonical amino acids (ncAAs). Academic and industrial attendees are welcome and will receive hands-on training from Center scientists in the standard “double sieve” life/death selection strategies to identify novel RS variants with selectivity for an ncAA so that it can be encoded into proteins. All attendees will perform selections starting from a complete active site RS library with model ncAAs provided by the Center. In addition, academic attendees can bring to the workshop an ncAA of their choice that has never been encoded into proteins. A series of lectures will also be given on the theory, history, strengths and challenges of Genetic Code Expansion, with particular focus on practical considerations for engineering new RS/tRNA pairs, cloning and generating custom libraries of RS mutants. The intent is to have academic attendees leave the workshop with a pool of RS variants able to encode their ncAA that they can bring back to their laboratories to characterize and use in their research programs. Attendees are encouraged to apply early so that they can discuss with Center scientists prior to the Workshop the nature of the ncAA they would like to encode and feasibility of success.


  • GCE Overview and status of the field.
  • Fundamentals of library selections: screening tRNA synthetase variants that load and encode your ncAA.
  • Overview of ncAA classes and categories, current status of the field.
  • Characterizing synthetase selection hits – How good is good enough?
  • Plasmid architecture and cloning (coli)
  • Plasmid architecture and cloning (Mammalian Cells)
  • How to design and build custom libraries
  • Good, bad, the ugly – and the future of GCE