Biotechnology Core

Joseph Shiloach, Ph.D., Head

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The Biotechnology Core specializes in pilot-scale production and recovery of biological compounds 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, production facility, and (2) research and process development related to solving biological production and recovery issues by utilizing physiological, molecular biology, and technical approaches.

During the last several years, the laboratory successfully solved variety of production challenges, it performed processes such as propagation of bacteria and yeast; growth of insect and mammalian cells in large volumes; and produced, recovered and isolated different biomolecules, such as proteins (including antibodies) and polysaccharides, from various sources. The following are examples of organisms grown: Escherichia coli, (recombinant and native), Bacillus Anthracis; various recombinant yeast strains such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris; mammalian cells (HeLa, CHO, MDCK and HEK 293); and insect cells (Sf 9, and High Five) for expression of recombinant proteins. A variety of proteins and molecules were produced, such as Pvs25H (malaria transmission blocking candidate vaccine); P-glycoprotein (membrane protein transporter) from pichia pastoris and insects’ cells for structural studies; and production and purification of peptidoglycan from bacillus anthracis for research that aims at understanding the pathogenesis of the bacteria infection. In addition, scale-up experiments for various products were conducted to evaluate future directions in production of biomolecules among them production of gammaretroviral vectors.