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
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
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
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