Room 304, Chemistry Building
Professor Christopher Love
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Many recombinant proteins like insulin, monoclonal antibodies, and certain vaccines are life-saving medicines. Despite their impact on healthcare, access to these medicines remains limited in many parts of the world. The challenges faced in making them available are manifold, including economic and political ones. One limitation for very low-cost biologic medicines relates to the costs of manufacturing; another can be logistical. This seminar will discuss these challenges as well as research aimed towards improving the production of these types of medicines. It will discuss efforts to understand and enhance the limitations on production within a robust microbial host, the yeast Pichia pastoris, using a combination of single-cell analytical technologies and genome-level characterization. It will also describe a new approach to distributed and portable manufacturing of these medicines that could address challenges in logistics and regulatory requirements for local manufacturing. The prototype platform described has been designed to facilitate rapid, end-to-end manufacturing using integrated and automated processes for fermentation and purification. Together, these advances provide an alternative strategy that could improve access to these medicines globally, but also open up new opportunities for drug development in orphan diseases and personalized or stratified medicines.
Christopher Love is an associate professor in chemical engineering at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. He is also an associate member at the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute, and at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard. Dr. Love received his Ph.D. in 2004 at Harvard University. He extended his research into immunology at Harvard Medical School from 2004-2007. His research centers on using simple microsystems to monitor cells from clinical samples in human disease, and on developing new approaches to manufacture biologic drugs efficiently and affordably. Dr. Love was named a Dana Scholar for Human Immunology and a Keck Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research in 2009. He is also a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar.