2017 – JUNE: Membrane Engineering of Lipids and Proteins for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy


7-8 June 2017 | Glasgow, UK


The use of whole-cell biocatalysts for the large scale production of biomolecules, biopharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and biofuels is a key theme within industrial biotechnology and bioenergy. However, cells that have been engineered for these purposes are often subject to membrane stress, leading to a loss of integrity at the cell membrane. This could be due to the chemical properties of product molecules (e.g. lipophilicity), product formation in non-native hosts, or as a result of overexpression of recombinant proteins, to give just a few examples.

This event brought together over 50 academic scientists with diverse interests in cell membrane stress, membrane engineering of proteins and lipids and membrane integrity, alongside industrial scientists who are interested in improving the robustness of whole-cell biocatalysts.

“This was one of the best meetings I have ever attended and I appreciated the possibility to talk to scientists from academia and industry.”

“This was a great collaborative meeting bringing together academic and industrial researchers. A number of themes emerged across the two days revealing key challenges in the field, along with ideas of how to begin addressing these.”

“The talks were fantastic. It is just amazing to hear experts in this field sharing their expertise and findings.”

To kick off the talks Mike Betenbaugh from Johns Hopkins University gave a plenary on the ‘Comparative Lipidomics across Mammalian Production Cell Lines’. This was followed by a series of other presentations from academia and industry on lipid engineering. These were then followed by a brewery tour and beer tasting session and a group dinner where further networking took place.

The second day started with Danielle Tullman-Ercek’s introduction to Engineering Chemical Efflux. This was followed by a series of other presentations from academia and industry on lipid engineering.


“This event was the perfect chance to catch up with someone where we have previously discussed possible collaboration and touch base again on that. Also a new collaboration was discussed with someone I met for the first time at the conference. I am optimistic both will lead to future collaboration.”