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4 New CBMNet Business Interaction Vouchers Awarded

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4 New CBMNet Business Interaction Vouchers Awarded

We are pleased to announce that as a result of our July meeting ”Overcoming Cellular Barriers for Industrial Biotechnology” we have awarded 4 new business interaction vouchers:

  1. University of Kent and FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies – Investigation into the effect of increased cytoplasmic membrane invaginations on secretion during industrial fermentation systems
  2. University of Sheffield, University of Cambridge and FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies – Testing a prototype engineered bacterial flagella Type III Secretion System for ‘true’ protein secretion in biotechnology – a Proof of Concept study
  3. University of Kent and MatTek Corporation – Optimization of influenza vaccine manufacturing through modification of cellular membrane organization
  4. University of Kent and FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies – Optimization of influenza vaccine manufacturing through modification of cellular membrane organization

CBMNet Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy Skills Development Programme Launched

CBMNet Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (IBBE) Skills Development Programme Launched

The UK is globally renowned for its excellence in life sciences, chemistry and engineering technical capabilities, and both industry and academia benefit from the capability of graduates from UK universities. However, there is a shortage of graduates with the relevant skills that would allow them to step into an Industrial Biotechnology role.

”The aim of the CBMNet IBBE Skills Development Programme is to build Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy skills in the UK and inform early career scientist’s on the possible career paths available in IBBE”, Dr Jen Vanderhoven, CBMNet Manager explains.  

”We carried out a review of the evidence for the skills gap in IBBE in the UK in late 2015 and found that there is currently very little training available that is directly related to the use of biological membranes in IBBE.”

The CBMNet IBBE Skills Development Programme will tackle the remaining skills gaps by providing the following free of charge to our members:

  1. ”Crossing Biological Membranes – Introduction to Industrial Biotechnology – Short Course” – We are extremely excited to announce our 3 day short course, hosted at The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), which will provide delegates with a foundation understanding of the science behind the CBMNet remit and chance to see it in action in real life on-site at 2 different industrial organisations (CPI and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies). In 2016 the course will take place in November and is now open for registration. We intend to run this course again in 2017 and 2018.
  2. CBMNet Early Career Researchers’ (ECRs) Symposium – In September 2016, we have created an opportunity for our PhD students and Post Docs to present their research to academics and industry. This event also features career-development workshops and activities, as well as sessions from individuals in academia, industry and outside the lab highlighting various career paths and opportunities. Registration is now open.
  3. CBMNet Early Career Researcher (ECR) Grants Scheme – We provide bursaries to allow ECRs to work with academic and industrial partners and to attend and present at relevant conferences and training events. To date we have funded a handful of successful grants which you can view here.
  4. CBMNet Vacation Scholarship Scheme – We provide scholarships for undergraduate students to carry out research projects of up to 10 weeks and which fall within the CBMNet remit. To date we have had 2 successful rounds and have just awarded 7 scholarships for 2016. Our next call will open in spring 2017. More information can be found here.
  5. NIBBs Joint workshop: Beyond the lab: developing your Industrial Biotechnology Career – CBMNet have sponsored 12 of its ECR members to attend this two day joint NIBBs event, developed in conjunction with Cogent Skills and The Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum. This is an excellent opportunity for PhD students and Post Docs to find out about possible career paths in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy outside the lab. 

13 New CBMNet Projects Funded

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13 New CBMNet Projects Funded

We are pleased to announce that we have recently funded 13 new projects in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy. 

Proof-of-Concept Projects

  • Dr Neil Dixon, University of Manchester, CPI and Oxford Biotrans – Identification of Membrane Transporters of Lignin monomers
  • Professor David James, University of Sheffield and UCB Pharma – Engineering Exosome Production by CHO Cells
  • Professor Doug Kell, University of Manchester and Croda – A potent synthetic biology strategy for increasing transporter-mediated terpenoid efflux from E. coli

Business Interaction Vouchers

  • Dr Mark Shepherd, University of Kent and FujiFilm – Engineering E. coli for enhanced production of antibody fragments
  • Dr Mark Shepherd, University of Kent and FujiFilm – Lowering the disulphide load in the periplasm of E. coli cell factories
  • Dr Teuta Pilizota, University of Edinburgh and FujiFilm – Replacing osmotic downshocks with upshocks for periplasmic protein extraction

Vacation scholarships

  • Dr Frans Maathuis, University of York – The role of HMA and COPT proteins in trans membrane movement of palladium 
  • Professor Colin Robinson, University of Kent – An enhanced platform for translocation of biotherapeutics to the E. coli periplasm
  • Dr Alan Goddard, University of Lincoln – Modelling of multifactorial solvent stress on membranes
  • Dr Wuge Briscoe, University of Bristol – Bacterial mimicking liposomes
  • Dr Boyan Bonev, University of Nottingham – Membrane stability models in the presence of methacrylate esters
  • Dr Sam Miller, University of Aberdeen – Investigating the role of periplasmic and transmembrane domains of mechanosensitive channels in E.coli membrane integrity
  • Dr Claudio Avignone-Rossa, University of Surrey – Construction of glucose transporter mutants of Clostridium beijerinckii

You can view all our projects funded to date here and read our success stories here.


Dr Samantha Miller 150px (2)     lars     Dr-Ian-Hodgson_dnm_speaker     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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From January 1st 2016, we are pleased to announce the the following will be joining our management board:

  • Dr Sam Miller (University of Aberdeen)

Sam is currently a lecturer in the School of Medical Sciences. Her research career is focussed on structure and function relationships in two sets of ion channels in Escherichia coli involved in bacterial survival of changes in their environments.

  • Dr Lars Jeuken (University of Leeds)

Lars is a Reader in Biophysics in the Faculty of Biological Sciences. He researches redox-active membrane proteins and biological electron transfer, with the aim of controlling the interaction between biological macromolecules and inorganic ‘solid’ surfaces.

  • Ian Hodgson (FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies)

Ian is the Head of Molecular Biology, R & D at FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, based in Billingham. He has over 26 years of experience in molecular biology and in particular the design, construction and testing of protein expression vectors for biopharmaceutical production (eukaryotic and prokaryotic).

  • Dr Doug Cossar (Croda Europe Ltd)

Doug took up his present position at Croda Europe Ltd, to manage the Biotechnology Research Group in Widnes. His role is to develop route to manufacture for biotechnology-derived speciality chemicals for delivery across an array of market sectors, from Health Care (eg excipients for drug formulation or speciality lipids) to the Oil Field (surface-active materials).

The CBMNet Management Board oversees the strategic goals of the network; delivery and dissemination of innovative approaches relevant to remit; promotion of academic-industrial interactions; processes for inviting, assessing and allocating Proof-of-Concept funding; reviewing strategic goals and network events.

CBMNet Members Awarded IB Catalyst Funding

Congratulations to CBMNet members Green Biologics, FujiFilm Diosynth, Centre for Process Innovation, and Ingenza, who were amongst the UK companies and universities to be awarded Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst funding in the most recent round.

A total of 23 projects, ranging from making biofuel from household waste to using bacteria to make the building blocks for new medicines, will share almost £20 million from the IB Catalyst – introduced in January 2014 to support collaboration between UK researchers and the emergent industrial biotechnology sector.

See full story here.