"Many potential applications of synthetic and systems biology are relevant to the challenges associated with the detection, surveillance, and responses to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. On March 14 and 15, 2011, the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) Forum on Microbial Threats convened a public workshop in Washington, DC, to explore the current state of the science of synthetic biology, including its dependency on systems biology; discussed the different approaches that scientists are taking to engineer, or re-engineer, biological systems; and discussed how the tools and approaches of synthetic and systems biology were being applied to mitigate the risks associated with emerging infectious diseases. The science and applications of synthetic and systems biology is organized into sections as a topic-by-topic distillation of the presentations and discussions that took place at the workshop. Its purpose is to present information from relevant experience, to delineate a range of pivotal issues and their respective challenges, and to offer differing perspectives on the topic as discussed and described by the workshop participants. This report also includes a collection of individually authored papers and commentary"--Publisher's description. Workshop overview -- Contributed manuscripts : Commercial applications of synthetic biology / David A. Berry ; Synthetic biology, applications come of age / Ahmad S. Khalil and James J. Collins ; The genome as the unit of engineering / Andrew D. Ellington and Jared Ellefson ; Synthetic biology, a new generation of biofilm biosensors / James Chappell and Paul S. Freemont ; Synthetic biology and the art of biosensor design / Christopher E. French [and others] ; Systems analysis of adaptive immunity by utilization of high-throughput technologies / Sai T. Reddy and George Georgiou ; The new science of sociomicrobiology and the realm of synthetic and systems ecology / E. Peter Greenberg ; Creation of a bacterial cell controlled by a chemically synthesized genome / Daniel G. Gibson [and others] ; Synthetic biology "from scratch" / Gerald F. Joyce ; Manufacturing molecules through metabolic engineering / Jay D. Keasling ; Novel approaches to combat biofilm drug tolerance / Kim Lewis ; Next-generation synthetic gene networks / Timothy K. Lu, Ahmad S. Khalil and James J. Collins ; Engineering scalable biological systems / Timothy K. Lu ; Metabolic systems biology / Bernhard Palsson ; Systems vaccinology / Bali Pulendran, Shuzhao Li and Helder I. Nakaya ; Solving vaccine mysteries, a systems biology perspective / Lydie Trautmann and Rafick Pierre Sekaly ; Systems biology of vaccination for seasonal influenza in humans / Helder I. Nakaya [and others] ; Synthetic systems as microbial threats, predictability of loss-of-function mutations in engineered systems / Sean C. Sleight, Bryan A. Bartley, and Herbert M. Sauro ; Isoprenoid pathway optimization for taxol precursor overproduction in Escherichia coli / Parayil Kumaran Ajikumar [and others] ; Programming cells, towards an automated 'genetic compiler' / Kevin Clancy and Christopher A. Voigt ; Prokaryotic gene clusters, a rich toolbox for synthetic biology / Michael Fischbach and Christopher A. Voigt ; The silicon trypanosome / Barbara M. Bakker [and others] -- Agenda -- Acronyms -- Glossary -- Forum member biographies -- Speaker biographies.