The mission of our group is to generate knowledge, new applications, and developments in the area of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Biomedicine by combining biological and engineering concepts.
Our main research lines are (a) Biopharmaceutical Biotechnology: Production of biopharmaceuticals and recombinant vaccines; (b) Micro- and nanotechnologies for the diagnostic of infectious diseases; (c) Tissue Engineering and stem cell culture; and (d) Engineered biomaterials for biopharmaceutical and biomedical applications.
We use reactions mediated by cells and their components (e.g. enzymes and nucleic acids) to generate high-added-value products and applications. To achieve this purpose effectively, we usually have to engineer the cells and their functions; we use genetic engineering to modify or add new genes to a cell to confer new functions. For example, we engineer bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells to produce recombinant proteins to diagnose, prevent, or treat global infectious or chronic diseases such as influenza,Ebola, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. We also design diagnostic chips to quickly and specifically identify bacteria, virus, or antibodies to tell us whether a person has been exposed to a specific pathogen.
Recently, we entered into the area of biomaterials and tissue engineering. Here we combine concepts of material sciences and technology, microfluidics, genomics, and cell culture in micro-and mini-devices into biomedical applications that could save lives. For instance, we are developing platforms to culture stem cells for tissue repair. We also culture cancer stem cells in continuous-flow microchips to better understand how a tumor grows and how to diagnose or treat a specific type of cancer. For all these applications, we must design and engineer not only the cells but also the systems and environments where we culture them. That is, we also do bioreactor design and engineering.