Biopharmaceuticals, or protein therapeutics, are the fastest growing sector of the pharmaceutical industry. Our work in biopharmaceutical processing aims to increase the expression level of heterologous proteins in yeast and mammalian cells.
Metabolic Markers of High Productivity Cells
This project aims to develop FRET-based sensors for important primary metabolites that correlate well with the level of protein production in cell lines. These can then be used as a surrogate assays in the high throughput screening of cell for enhanced productivity.
Biosensors of Cell Stress
High levels of protein overexpression can cause cell stress from amino acid starvation, the accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins, and various other mechanisms. We are developing biosensors of these stress response pathways and developing synthetic genetic circuits aimed at overcoming cell stress.
We are creating synthetic organisms that work together to accomplish goals in biopharmaceutical processing, such as providing nutrients on-demand to growing cultures.
Neurodegeneration and Ageing
Protein secretion, trafficking, and misfolding are also involved in neurodegeneration from diseases such as Alzheimer''s and Parkinson''s and from ageing in general.
Unvraveling the role of the ER stress response in neurodegeneration
With Dr Cleo Kontoravdi (Chemical Engineering), we are trying to understand what role endoplasmic reticulum stress plays in neuronal cell loss in Alzheimer''s disease.
Tools for Synthetic Biology
We are also involved in ongoing work to add to the tools available for synthetic biology in multiple projects. This work is in collaboration with Dr Mauricio Barahona (Bioengineering), Dr Guy-Bart Stan, and researchers at Edinburgh, Leeds, Sheffield, and UCL.