Development of genetic engineering in microalgae

Biopharmaceuticals are pharmaceuticals that are produced in biological systems, as opposed to being made synthetically using purely chemical approaches. Biopharmaceuticals are becoming increasingly important today, as biological systems are very good at making pharmaceuticals with very precise activity within people and with fewer side effects. However, most of the conventional approaches used to make biopharmaceuticals suffer from shortcomings such as high cost and the need to remove human pathogens. On the other hand, microalgae overcome many of the limitations of the current systems. They are low-cost, safe to humans, and even edible. Microalgae are like very small plants, and plants were the original source of biopharmaceuticals, including the cancer drug, taxol. However, in spite of their many advantages, microalgae have not yet been used commercially for biopharmaceutical production. The purpose of this Mitacs Accelerate proposal is to develop tools which are crucial to harnessing the potential of microalgae for making biopharmaceuticals.

Zahed Muhammed
Superviseur universitaire: 
Dr. Perry Chou
Project Year: