Recombinant protein production in E. coli
Many therapeutic proteins, for example recombinant human insulin, are made in the bacterium Escherichia coli. Bacterial fermentation is a preferred production route for many proteins as it is a relatively cheap and simple process when compared to production in eukaryotic hosts. However, bacterial production of recombinant proteins is not perfect, as many proteins are difficult to manufacture in a functional, correctly-folded form. Research in my lab focuses on ways in which these protein production processes can be improved, through a combination of whole process design, optimisation and monitoring. We are interested in high cell density cultivation using fed-batch methods, single cell analysis using flow cytometry, coupling of fermentation to cell harvest and product release, and stress minimisation methods for optimisation of protein folding and bacterial viability. A PhD project in this area will include many of these aspects with the objective of improving process yield.
To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in the School, the funding opportunities available for your subject, and guidance on making your application, you can order a copy of our Doctoral Research Prospectus, at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/drp
If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work on this project will be considered.
You can search for sources of funding at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding
1. Hsu CC, Thomas ORT, Overton TW. (2015) Use of stress minimisation to optimise the fermentation-downstream processing interface for periplasmically-targeted antibody fragments synthesised in Escherichia coli. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology DOI: 10.1002/jctb.4672
2. 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
3. Wyre C and Overton TW (2014) Development of flow cytometric analysis of bacteria on agar plates: implications for bioprocessing. Biotechnology Letters 36: 1485-94
4. Overton TW (2014) Recombinant protein production in bacterial hosts. Drug Discovery Today 19: 590-601
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FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.50
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