Biotechnology Core

Joseph Shiloach, Ph.D., Head

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The Biotechnology Core specializes in large-scale production and purification of biological materials from various sources to advance research in fields such as vaccine development, drug development, and structural biology. To achieve this goal, the laboratory integrates two main functions: (1) production of biologics, conducted in a multipurpose, state-of-the-art production facility, and (2) research and process development related to solving biological production issues by utilizing physiological, molecular biology, and technical approaches.

The lab has successfully solved a variety of production challenges. These include growing large amounts of different microorganisms, mammalian cells, and insect cells, and obtaining bulk and purified proteins from large amounts of media and biomass. Scientists achieved this by utilizing physiological, molecular biology, and technical approaches specific to each producer and product. Examples of molecule production for structural studies include the following: (1) toll-like receptor 3 by transiently infected insect cells, (2) G protein-coupled neurotensin receptor (NTS1) from recombinant E. coli and from stably transfected HEK 293 cells, and (3) capsular polysaccharides of Neisseria meningitidies from E. coli. Examples of production of molecules, microorganisms and cells for therapeutic and vaccine studies include cell wall and peptydoglycan from Bacillus anthracis, Shigella, and recombinant malaria transmission blocking vaccine Pfs 25h. The laboratory conducts research on modifying adhesion properties of mammalian cells (for virus production) and on improving the growth properties of recombinant E. coli strains (for recombinant protein production).