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Nicole BORTH is Associate Professor at the Department of Biotechnology. Her research aims at obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the molecular machinery that enables a cell to be a good production factory for biotherapeutic proteins. This includes factors that contribute to high yield based on productivity and growth, but also to protein quality attributes. The methods used are genome comparison, epigenetics, transcriptomics, miRNA and lncRNA expression, proteomics and flow cytometry/cell sorting. These are complemented by computational biology tools, such as metabolic modelling or gene network analyses. The goal is to understand the molecular basis and regulation of such process and cellular properties. The knowledge can be used (i) for the development of new screening approaches using cell sorting and relevant molecular markers, (ii) for targeted cell engineering to improve the cellular machinery, (iii) for process monitoring and control based on the prediction of product quality from the state of the producing cell.
Tim CAUSON is Associate Professor at the Institute of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna. His main areas of research are separation sciences (liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis), ion mobility-mass spectrometry, quantitative metabolomics, and analytical method development for diverse small molecule applications including studies of ion formation processes, metabolomics for biotechnology, and mass spectrometry-based profiling techniques applied to wine analysis.
Astrid DÜRAUER is senior scientist and lecturer at the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and head deputy of the Institute of Bioprocess Science and Engineering (IBSE), also Key Researcher for Bioprocess Engineering within the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib). She is head of a research group at with the focus on integrated process development considering the engineering aspect of non-chromatographic downstream processes, their scalability with special interest on miniaturization and automation as well as the set-up of online monitoring strategies for downstream processing. Since October 2021 she is coordinator of the BOKU DocSchool Bioprocess Engineering.
Rainer HAHN is Associate Professor at the Department of Biotechnology. His main research is Bioprocess Engineering with focus on recovery and purification of biomolecules performed in laboratory as well as pilot scale. The main field of applications is the production and isolation of proteins derived from different sources, e.g. E. coli, animal cell culture or natural resources like milk or plants. As a leading principle experimental data are generated and these data are evaluated by engineering models in order to provide a quantitative and mechanistic description of the process. Unit operations of interest comprise cell separation, homogenization, filtration, precipitation and chromatographic separations.
Alois JUNGBAUER is Professor at the Dep. of Biotechnology. He teaches Protein Technology, Downstream Processing and Bioprocess Engineering, visiting professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Virginia, USA, and Wenzhou University, China. He also acts as area head and Deputy Director of Research in the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology. He is working in the field of bioengineering of proteins, plasmids and viruses with focus on expression, downstream processing and characterization of biomolecules. He focuses mainly on engineering fundamentals for the next generation manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. He is executive editor and co-founder of Biotechnology Journal, and member of editorial boards from numerous journals in the area of biochemical engineering.
Friedrich LEISCH is Professor at the Institute of Statistics. He has previously worked at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany and the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. Friedrich's research interests include statistical computing, cluster analysis, finite mixture models, market segmentation, classification, machine learning and statistical applications in life and business sciences. He has applied statistical methods in a wide variety of cooperation projects, ranging from biotechnology, wildlife ecology, market segmentation and tourism to psychiatry and other medical fields.
Helga LICHTENEGGER is Professor and Head of Institute at the Institute of Physics and Materials Sciences, Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering (where she is deputy Head of Department). Her research interests lie in the field of applied physics and biomaterials science, with focus on nanoscale structure characterization and the relationship of nanostructure to macroscopic properties. She has worked on bone, teeth, plant cell walls and proteins in solution, complemented by synthetic materials with bio-inspired structure such as nanocomposites. She applies and further develops x-ray scattering methods in the laboratory and at Synchrotron large scale facilities in Europe.
Diethard MATTANOVICH is professor at the Department of Biotechnology. His research interests focus on the development of microbial strains for biotechnological production, and on the biological fundamentals behind. Main topics are the production of heterologous proteins and metabolites in yeasts, with a focus on renewable single carbon substrates. Fundamental understanding of yeast metabolism and advanced synthetic biology tools form the basis of metabolic engineering towards novel synthesis pathways. He teaches Microbial Cell Factories and Metabolic and Cell Engineering at BOKU, and acts as Area Leader at the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology. He is Chair of the International Commission on Yeasts and Vice President of the European Federation of Biotechnology.
Christoph PFEIFER is professor at the Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering and the focus of his research group is process engineering and performing process development as well as scientific support of process implementation, mainly based on thermo-chemical conversion techniques (gasification, hydrothermal carbonisation, pyrolysis). A major focus of the research is on fluidised bed technology. The tools applied are process engineering, mass- and energy balancing, measurement and control techniques as well as computational fluid dynamics.
Harald RENNHOFER is Associate Professor at the Department of Materials Sciences and Process Engineering, Institute of Physics and Materials Science. His research interests are structure and properties of bio-based materials (e.g. protein, cellulose, lignin) and hierarchically structured materials (e.g. carbon fibre reinforced plastics, bone, wood) and is mainly based on small angle and wide angle X-ray scattering in the laboratory and at international research facilities.
Michael SAUER is Associate Professor at the Institute of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology. His research is dedicated to microbial chemical production from renewable resources. The philosophy of his team is to combine synthetic biology with natures diversity and to develop processes as close as possible to industrial realities. One focus is on the characterization and optimization of natural producers, thus exploiting natural diversity. A second line of research is dedicated to the development of synthetic tools aiding metabolic engineering approaches with a focus on membrane transport processes.
Gerald STRIEDNER is Professor at the Department of Biotechnology and head of the Institute of Bioprocess Science and Engineering. He has established an integrated systems approach for rational host cell and bioprocess design with special focus on the cultivation process of different hosts. The implementation of PAT and QbD concepts and process modeling as well as advanced process monitoring and control in the cell culture process are key topics in ongoing research projects. CHO, E. coli, insect cells and vero cell lines are used as expression systems for production of biopharmaceuticals (mABs, Fabs, scFvs, VLPs, viruses, DNA) and proteins for applications in white biotechnology. He is Co-founder of enGenes Biotech GmbH a company focused on development of customized solutions for production of recombinant proteins in microbial expression systems and of Novasign GmbH active in the field of bioprocess modeling.
Associated Faculty Members
Nico LINGG is senior scientist at the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology and at the Department of Biotechnology (BOKU). His research focuses on the design of platform processes in bioprocess engineering. The main applications are the production and purification of biomacromolecules as biopharmaceuticals. This includes peptides, proteins and bionanoparticles from various sources such as microbial fermentation, cell culture or human plasma. His research interests are in downstream unit operations and characterization of biomacromolecules. The overall vision is to have standardized processes that can generically be applied for whole classes of potential products.
Markus GÖLLES is Area Manager for Automation and Control within the research centre BEST – Bieoenergy and Sustainable Technologies. His main research fields are modelling and control of thermotechnical, thermochemical and biotechnological processes and systems, as well as the cross-sectoral energy and resource management. In parallel he is teaching at Graz University of Technology and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.
Markus LUCHNER is Senior Scientist at the Department of Biotechnology. Since 2012 he is head of BOKU Core Facility BioIndustrial Pilot Plant. His focus is on upstream processing, fermentation technology, bioprocess engineering, process automation, and online process monitoring. He has also experience in process scale-up, GMP production, systems engineering, and equipment safety.
Peter SATZER is University Assistant and Lecturer at the Department of Biotechnology. His research focus is on continuous manufacturing of biologics in both upstream and downstream. He has worked on new process technologies, integrated continuous biomanufacturing, economic and ecological modelling of processes, antibody production and virus production. His work is complemented by the development of 3D printing for rapid prototyping and process engineering.
Theresa SCHARL is Senior Scientist at the Institute of Statistics. Previously she worked as a researcher in the Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology (acib). Her research interests include statistical computing, cluster analysis, classification, machine learning and statistical applications in life sciences. She has experience in the analysis of high-dimensional data of bioprocesses such as (time-course) gene expression data from microarrays or RNA sequencing. A second line of research is on the (real-time) monitoring and control of upstream and downstream processes.
Birgit WILTSCHI is a principal investigator in the FET-open project PURE at the Institute of Bioprocess Science and Engineering at BOKU and the head of the Synthetic Biology Group at the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology. Her research focusses on protein engineering with non-canonical amino acids (ncAAs) in an industrial context. This includes the site-specific incorporation of ncAAs at in-frame amber stop codons using orthogonal translation systems as well as residue-specific labeling of proteins with ncAAs by the supplementation of amino acid auxotrophies. We apply bioorthogonal conjugation techniques, e.g. “click chemistry” at ncAAs with reactive side chain groups. Another line of research aims at the biosynthesis of such ncAAs.