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BPL - Bioprocess Laboratory

Biotechnology thrives on the interface of engineering and molecular life sciences. This is its characteristic feature and its raison d'être. The biological systems we are dealing with are complex and designing them and the processes in which they play a key role are some of the crucial tasks of the chemical, health, and energy industries in this century. The Bioprocess Lab wants to do contribute decisive research to this mission.


EU consortium explores new mRNA molecules and ways to make them

Led by Sven Panke’s Bioprocess Lab at ETH Zurich, a consortium of partners from industry and academia from across Europe recently kicked off “NEWmRNA”, a synthetic biology project funded by a 3 Mio€-EIC Pathfinder grant. Given the diverse role and growing importance of mRNA-applications in many economic sectors, the 4-year project aims to pave the way for new forms of mRNA and for mass producing them.

Boosting the potential of engineered metalloenzymes

Replacing mineral oil-based chemistry with bio-engineered alternatives plays a key role in the establishment of a sustainable economy. A promising research area in synthetic biology are artificial enzymes containing metal ions, so-called metalloenzymes. An NCCR-funded research alliance between the Bioprocess Lab (Sven Panke) and the University of Basel (Thomas R. Ward) paves the way to systematically engineer such artificial metalloenzymes to tap their full potential for bioproduction.

BPL on Twitter


We are happy to announce that the Bioprocess Laboratory can now be found on twitter: external page

Binding sites for protein-making machinery

D-BSSE researchers can predict how tightly a cell’s protein synthesis machinery will bind to RNA sequences - even when dealing with many billions of different RNA sequences. This binding plays a key role in determining how much of a specific protein is produced. The scientists are developing their prediction model using a combination of synthetic biology experiments and machine learning algorithms. The interdisciplinary study is first-authored by Simon Höllerer and Laetitia Papaxanthos.

D-BSSE spinoff identifies potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies

In an interview with CNN Money Switzerland, the CEO of Memo Therapeutics Karsten Fischer announced the discovery and subsequent analysis of a repertoire of ultra-rare but highly neutralising antibodies isolated from the blood of COVID-19 recovered patients. The most potent candidates will be used for the development of therapeutic antibodies as well as rational vaccine strategies.


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