You are here

Biomolecular & Bioprocess Engineering: Metabolic and Cellular Engineering



One of the key questions that biochemical engineers face is how to control and optimize the amount and quality of a biopharmaceutical product. These products are typically recombinant proteins that are expressed either in E. coli or Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. By studying changes in protein and gene expression, we previously found that one could make very subtle changes to a gene sequence and observe a substantial (nearly 10-fold) increase in the active product secreted by E. coli cells. We also have observed that making changes to the cytoskeleton of CHO cells can increase productivity by 50%. The ability to make quantitative measurements on gene expression and genome mutations has significantly accelerated metabolic and cellular engineering efforts. As part of an international consortium, we recently helped sequence the CHO genome and now are working to share and disseminate broadly information related to the CHO genome. The www.CHOgenome.org international community seeks to share data freely and make tools available to support the CHO biotechnology community.

CHO-K1 Cells


Back to Research