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Bioprocessing research - recombinant proteins and bioplastics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, January 06, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Research in bioprocessing

We are interested in production of recombinant proteins biotherapeutics (such as insulin) and bioplastics (such as polyhydroxyalkanoate, PHA). We use a combination of microbiology, molecular biology and bioprocessing approaches to optimise processes from the molecular to the process scale – typically going from shake flasks into bioreactors of 5 litre scale at high cell density. We use flow cytometry as an analytical tool to investigate individual cells within a population and identify heterogeneity with processes, in terms of physiology and gene regulation.
Specific questions we are currently interested in are:
• How can we optimise production of recombinant proteins that are hard to manufacture, in terms of yield and activity?
• How can we effectively direct recombinant proteins into the periplasm of E. coli?
• How can we make bioplastics with favourable material properties at high yield and low cost?

Funding Notes

The MIBTP scheme is a competitive funding scheme. Details and eligibility are detailed here: View Website


Selas Castiñeiras T, Williams SG, Cole JA, Hitchcock A, Smith D, Overton TW. (2018) Development of a beta-lactamase screening system for selection of signal peptides for periplasmic targeting of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli. Scientific Reports 8: 6986

Selas Castiñeiras T, Williams SG, Cole JA, Hitchcock A, Smith D, Overton TW. (2018) Optimising host cell physiology and stress avoidance for the production of recombinant human tumour necrosis factor α in Escherichia coli. Microbiology 164: 440-452 doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000622

Wyre C and Overton TW (2014). Use of a stress-minimisation paradigm in high cell density fed-batch E. coli fermentations to optimise recombinant protein production. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology 41: 1391-1404

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Chemical Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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