Category: News

BioProNET is ending – stay in touch

BioProNET was granted a no-cost extension by the BBSRC to run until the end of August 2019. We have been investigating mechanisms by which to sustain the network beyond August 2019, and in particular to hold a Science Meeting in 2020.

Due to data protection rules, we are not allowed to use our BioProNET mailing list once funding for the network has finished.

Thank you for clicking on the link in an email that was sent to you indicate that you would like to stay in touch and be kept informed of a future bioprocessing network. Your preference has been noted.

If you arrived at this page not through an email link but would like to stay in touch please contact Charlotte

6th Annual Science Meeting

The Principal Hotel, Manchester
June 3-4th 2019

Our flagship science meeting this year reflected on the science that has been developed to date through BioProNET support, and also provide a forward vision of the science that will underpin the next 10 years of bioprocessing.

10.00 Registration
The Cell Factory: Proteins are go

co-chaired by Emma Hargreaves and Mark Smales

11.00 Nicole Borth, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna – CHO genome news: variation, phenotypes and control
11.30 Tobias von der Haar, University of Kent – Controlling bioprocessing parameters through efficient sequence design
11.45 Sarah Smith, University of Warwick – Exploiting electron microscopy to optimise protein and biologic expression systems
12.00 Anil Day, University of Manchester – A high-yield expression platform for manufacturing recombinant human growth factors
12.15 Jose Guterriez-Marcos, University of Warwick – Rapid production of high value biologics in plant cell cultures
12.30 Poster talks: Gizem Buldum, Imperial College London – Monitoring the effect of accessory proteins on a CHO-based cell-free protein synthesis factory

Théo Mozzanino, University of Kent – Engineering the CHO secretory pathway for enhanced secretory recombinant protein production

12.40 Douglas Browning, University of Birmingham – Playing a round with recombinant protein production: what is PAR for the course
12.55 Lunch
The Cell Factory: Nucleic acids are go    chaired by Nicole Borth
14.00 Uta Griesenbach, Imperial College London – Latest developments in cystic fibrosis gene therapy
14.30 Michael Plevin, University of York – DNA motor proteins for nanopore sequencing
14:45 Duygu Dikicioglu, University of Cambridge – Addressing challenges in pre-processing and mining bioprocess development data in biocatalyst manufacturing by machine learning
15.00 Lorna Ashton, Lancaster University – Raman spectroscopy and gene therapy
15.15 Poster talks: George Prout, Cobra Biologics – Optimisation of a scalable rAAV production process 

Zoltán Kis, Imperial College London – Techno-economic analysis of emerging vaccine platform and production technologies 

15:25 James Budge, University of Kent – Engineering of CHO cell lipid metabolism to enhance biotherapeutic protein production
15.40 Refreshment break, networking, posters
Beyond the Cell and into Manufacturing          chaired by Gary Lye
16.10 Nigel Robinson, Durham University – Protein metalation in Industrial Biotechnology: E3B BBSRC NIBB opportunities
16.40 Jon Sayers, University of Sheffield – Engineering nucleases for genetic engineering and diagnostic applications
16.55 Gary Montague, Teesside University – Improved preservation of biologics by continuous intensified lyophilisation
17.10 Hirra Hussain & Louis Darton, Universities of Manchester and Kent – The BBSRC-funded Strategic Training Awards for Research Skills (STARS): The Bioprocessing Training Programme
17.25 Mark Carver, Bio-Industry Association SIAC – Shaping the future: where next for bio-processing research?
17.55 Hotel check-in
18.20 Poster session and drinks reception
20.00 Conference dinner

Day 2 – 4thJune

New Approaches and Enabling Technologies        chaired by Paul Dalby
8.45 Paul Kellam, Kymab – Deep mining of antibody responses – picking your best therapeutic mAb or vaccine
9.15 James Winterburn, University of Manchester – Enhanced glycolipid production and separation: from bench to business with UKRI funding
9.30 Alan Goddard, Aston University – Separation of sub-micron biologicals using microfluidic devices
9.45 Mark Wass, University of Kent – In silico analysis of host cell protein impurities in antibody purification
10.00 Jim Warwicker, University of Manchester – Computational approaches to study biopharmaceutical stability and formulation
10.15 Poster talks: Cloé Legrand, University of Cambridge – MRI characterisation of a microscale parallel bioreactor 

Guido Zampieri, Teesside University – Combining machine learning and metabolic modelling as a tool for bioprocess development

10.25 David Brockwell, University of Leeds – Assessing biopharmaceutical aggregation in vivo and in vitro
10.55 Refreshment break, networking, posters
The Future Should Not Be Unexpected         chaired by Alan Dickson
11.25 Damian Marshall, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult – Cell and gene therapy manufacture: the emerging role for AI
11.55 Ray Field, AdaptImmune – Bioprocessing for autologous T cell therapy
12.25 Poster talks: Denis Calnan, Thermo Fisher Scientific – A high resolution accurate mass multi-attribute method for critical quality attribute monitoring & new peak detection

Vera Lukashchuk, Cobra Biologics – Development of analytical package for AAV vectors: focus on qPCR 

Tim Eyes, University of Manchester – GeneORator: Smart DNA library design to accelerate the identification of improved protein variants

12.40 Peter Levison, Pall Biotech – Operating in a changing landscape: future process development strategies
13.10 Prize presentation – Colin Miles, BBSRC
13.15 Lunch and meeting close


UK–China Interdisciplinary Workshop for Early Career Researchers: Promoting Social Embeddedness of New Biotechnologies


Beijing, China 14-16 October, 2019

China is the UK’s key partner and co-funder in the biosciences. Collaborative projects with China have substantially shaped policy and professional norms in the research and application of biotechnologies. Yet a number of empirical studies have highlighted that a lack of public engagement in China, together with limited knowledge of Chinese scientific culture, have often cast a shadow on the perceived public accountability towards research carried out in, and with, China. This interdisciplinary workshop, jointly funded by the Newton Fund and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, will bring together 40 funded participants (20 from each country). It will empower a new generation of bioscientists and social scientists from both China and the UK to critically and creatively examine what effective public engagement entails and cultivate a sense of mutual understanding and camaraderie in shaping future governance of the biosciences. In particular, through interactive activities and knowledge sharing, this workshop is focused on delivering the following three aims:

Aim 1: To empower early career professionals in both the biosciences and related areas (e.g. PE, science policy and scientific journalism) with confidence and key skills to actively shape, respond and steer public dialogues of biosciences in an age of intensified transnational exchanges.

Aim 2: To create an interdisciplinary research community for early career researchers to develop practical, effective and socially engaged bioscience based projects.

Aim 3: To co-develop action-plans at both institutional and cross-institutional (including transnational) level to incentivise, facilitate and support effective public engagement of the biosciences.

The workshop is coordinated by Dr. Joy Zhang (University of Kent) and Prof. Xian-En Zhang (Chinese Academy of Sciences, former Director General of Basic Research in China), with major contributions from Prof. Mark Smales (University of Kent), Director Paul Manners (National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, UK), Prof. Lu Gao (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Prof. Honglin Li (China Research Institute of Science Popularization).

This is an invitation for bioscience or relevant social science researchers based in the UK who are within 10 years of receiving their PhD (or with equivalent work experience) to apply to participate in this workshop. All travel (including visa), accommodation and meal expenses will be covered by the Newton Fund Researcher Links programme. Travel and medical insurance are not covered by the British Council.

Application and Deadline: UK-based applicants need to submit the following 2 documents to: by 16 June 2019.

  1. A one-page CV (including name, contact details, institutional affiliation, field of expertise, and length of work experience)
  2. A short statement on how you will contribute to the discussion and what you see as the challenges in securing public trust in and/or facilitating social uptake of new biosciences (300-word max).

Notification of results:  Applicants will be notified on the outcome of their application by e-mail by 1 July 2019. 

ESACT courses

ESACT (European Society of Animal Cell Technology) courses will again be organized in September/October 2019 in Llafranc, Spain.

  • ACT Course:  22 – 26 Sept 2019
  • Cell Culture-Based Viral Vaccines Course:  29 Sept – 3 Oct 2019
  • Drug Development Course:  6 – 9 Oct 2019

Registration is open until mid June. More details here.

BioProNET extension

We are pleased to inform you that BioProNET has been granted a no-cost extension by the BBSRC to run until the end of August 2019. There is no additional funding associated with the extension, however we will have the opportunity to use the extension period to investigate, and put in place, mechanisms by which to sustain the network beyond August 2019.

We have already been in discussion with key stakeholders in industry and academia to ensure that the continuation of such a network is required, and in response had incredible support with regard to the need to ensure such an academic-industrial UK based network continues and thrives. As we develop our plans in the next 3-4 months for a sustainable network, we hope that all within the network will support the need for such a network and provide their input and ideas regarding the sustainability of the network. Please do contact us if you have any thoughts or would like to be involved.

In addition to developing mechanisms for a sustainable BioProNET, we plan to hold the annual science meeting this year, potentially in late July, and a further meeting in October. We will have more firm plans in a few weeks, and will keep BioProNET members updated through newsletters, our website and Twitter (@BioProNETUK).

Additional focussed meetings, and those in collaboration with other organisations and the new phase II NIBB, are also being investigated. The BBSRC STARS programme, that BioProNET has helped deliver for the last 2 years, will also be running again in September 2019. We will also be continuing to collect outputs and impact of BioProNET activities.

We look forward to your continued support and seeing you at a BioProNET event soon.