GlycoFly: engineering humanized glycoproteins in Drosophila melanogaster

Biopharmaceuticals are drugs/proteins produced in living cells using biological processes, such as fermentation or recombinant DNA technology, and are critical for modern healthcare.
Biopharmaceuticals provide more targeted and effective treatments with fewer side effects compared to traditional small molecule drugs. Several mammalian/human and non-human protein expression platforms have been successfully used for the generation of biopharmaceuticals at industrial scale, with the non-human platforms being easier, cheaper, and safer to handle.

Lipid mediators of growth for cellular agriculture

Cellular agriculture aims to generate more sustainable approaches to the production of agricultural products, and this nascent field requires the development of new tools to enhance controlled cell growth. In this project, we will investigate the use of insect cell biomass to produce specific phospholipids that can be used to enhance cellular growth. We will examine known pathways that are activated by exogenous phospholipids in mammalian cells. We will determine optimal compositions and formulation of the lipids for stimulating cell growth in multiple cell lines.

Development of a robust SPR system for the detection of growth factors in an insect-based expression platform

Growth factors are signaling molecules used in cell culture that provide cues to cells. They are one of the key inputs and main consumables in lab growth meat production. Because of this, they are the main driver of production costs. Future Fields is a Canadian biotechnology company that has developed a more cost-effective and scalable platform for producing key growth factors for lab grown meat production; however, analysis of growth factors produced in Future Fields’ system is costly and time consuming.

The development of a serum-free media formulation for cultured meat production

Cultured meat production has enormous potential to supplement the global protein supply. However, it has yet to become a consumer product due to high production costs, which are mainly attributed to the cell growth media. We intend to develop a cheap and effective culture media for the growth of animal cells for cultured meat applications. Many traditional cell growth medias rely on supplementation with foetal bovine serum.