Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Research Associate







1M5ACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus





My PhD, titled "Factors Affecting the Specific Productivity of Pichia pastoris" focused on using the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris as a heterologous expression platform for protein production. My research involved analysing the secretory stress through overproducing recombinant proteins by looking at the unfolded protein response (UPR) in multi-copy clones. This led to an indepth exploration of genetic stability when integrating multiple cognate genes. Furthermore, I investigated, using transcriptomic analysis, the impact of clonal variation on expression strains .

Since my PhD my research into P. pastoris has continued first through a Leverhulme Trust funded postdoc investigating using P. pastoris for biopharmaceutical applications by determining the impact of specific Golgi-related genes on glycosylation patterns. I was named researcher on a proof-of-concept project sponsored by BBSRC BioProNET investigating the feasibility of using P. pastoris for cell free protein synthesis (CFPS).

I have also been a researcher on Frontiers in Engineering, continuing the work on the novel P. pastoris CFPS platform and investigating the ability to produce the anti-HIV antibody VRC01.

Since December 2017 I have been a named researcher on the EPSRC Future Vaccine Manufacturing Hub, where I am responsible for the generation of a novel P. pastoris expression platform. 



Mastropietro G, Aw R, Polizzi K, 2021, Expression of proteins in Pichia pastoris, Methods in Enzymology, ISSN:0076-6879

Aw R, De Wachter C, Laukens B, et al., 2021, Knockout of RSN1, TVP18 or CSC1‐2 causes perturbation of Golgi cisternae in Pichia pastoris, Traffic, Vol:22, ISSN:1398-9219, Pages:48-63

Aw R, Spice AJ, Polizzi K, 2020, Methods for expression of recombinant proteins using a Pichia pastoris cell-free system, Current Protocols in Protein Science, Vol:102, ISSN:1934-3655

Spice AJ, Aw R, Bracewell DG, et al., 2020, Improving the reaction mix of a Pichia pastoris cell-free system using a design of experiments approach to minimise experimental effort, Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology, Vol:5, ISSN:2405-805X, Pages:137-144

Spice AJ, Aw R, Bracewell DG, et al., 2020, Synthesis and assembly of Hepatitis B virus-like particles in a Pichia pastoris cell-free system, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Vol:8, ISSN:2296-4185

More Publications