This priority area houses faculty members who collaborate jointly from the departments of Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Kinesiology Pharmacy, and Physics & Astronomy.
Biopharmaceutical and high-value bioproducts
Researchers under this group have bioproduct experience with several molecules including CD83 proteins, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), monoclonal antibodies (mAb or moAb), biofuels, enzymes, and bioplastics. The main focus of this group is on microbial fermentations, animal-cell culture bioprocesses and enzymatic biotransformations to produce biopharmaceuticals and other high-value recombinant protein products such as therapeutics.
This sub-thrust area is relevant to biosynthesis of materials and functional molecules, mostly used in pharmaceuticals, but they can be implemented in specific devices for biosensing or detection. CBB members have expertise in the emerging disciplines of systems biology, synthetic biology, chromosome engineering and functional metagenomics, which provide exceptional support for the development of transformative technologies.
Biomass and environmental bioremediation
Researchers focus on renewable biomass resources, clean biofuels and the need for environmental pollution abatement. Research activities include the use of waste biomass, as well as the efficient production of biomass resources. The identification of novel biomass degrading enzymes that can be applied to the conversion of waste biomass to suitable substrates for bioproduction is facilitated by functional metagenomics. Algae derived biomass can be produced at faster rates than other land-based agriculture, and can be commercially produced to re-oxygenate aquatic dead zones and treat waste water, or further be fermented into alternative biofuels such as ethanol, butanol, methane, and biodiesel. Biomass synthesis production implies the development of specific systems and/or materials (bio- or photobio-reactors) that allow for larger scale biomanufacturing, along with the full understanding of the biological mechanisms involved within. Development of large scale and controlled production of biomass will find obvious applications in Environment (pollutant remediation, CO2 biosequestration), and Energy (diesel and jet fuel).
Bionano-derivatives for functional materials
Researchers under this group explore how biosynthetic, biomimetic, or biofunctionalized molecules and materials can be used in very small amounts, inserted as active or sensing species into specific devices, or used for their specific properties. These members conduct research for frontier discoveries of nanobiotechnology, with functional devices including biological systems (molecules, cells,…). Developments are expected in the domain of medical diagnosis, but breakthrough innovations could arise in information storage (DNA coding), that is, in Quantum information or Information and Communication Technology.