Recent News


New online tool gives 3D view of human metabolic processes

A new computational resource called Recon3D provides a 3D view of genes, proteins and metabolites involved in human metabolism. Researchers used the tool to map disease-related mutations on proteins and also probed how genes and proteins change in response to certain drugs. The work provides a better understanding of disease-causing mutations and could enable researchers to discover new uses for existing drug treatments. Full Story


Model predicts how E. coli bacteria adapt under stress

Researchers at UC San Diego have developed a genome-scale model that can accurately predict how E. coli bacteria respond to temperature changes and genetic mutations. The work sheds light on how cells adapt under environmental stress and has applications in precision medicine, where adaptive cell modeling could provide patient-specific treatments for bacterial infections.  Full Story


Bioengineering Professor Christian Metallo Receives 2017 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Christian Metallo, a bioengineering professor at the University of California San Diego, has been named a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar. Metallo is one of 13 faculty members nationwide to receive the honor from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Full Story


UC San Diego CHO Systems Biology Center pioneers efforts to improve cell production of high-value pharmaceuticals

Optimizing CHO (Chinese hamster ovary) cell lines to accelerate biologic drug development is a goal of the CHO Systems Biology Center at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Center researchers are developing new technologies and training the next generation of cell line engineers and systems biology specialists to advance CHO cell engineering research. Full Story


Researchers develop new tools to optimize CHO cell lines for making biologic drugs

Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are the workhorses behind more than half of the top-selling biologics on the market today. Humira, Avastin and Rituxan are a few. Researchers at the UC San Diego CHO Systems Biology Center are developing new tools, such as genome-scale metabolic models, to optimize CHO cell production of biologic drugs in the hope of driving down their costs. Full Story


New analysis of big data sheds light on cell functions

Researchers have developed a new way of obtaining useful information from big data in biology to better understand—and predict—what goes on inside a cell. Using genome-scale models, researchers were able to integrate multiple different data sets and discovered new biological patterns among different cellular processes.  Full Story


Five Ph.D. students named Siebel Scholars

Five engineering graduate students from the University of California, San Diego have been named 2017 Siebel Scholars. The Siebel Scholars program recognizes exceptional students at the world’s leading graduate schools of business, computer science, and bioengineering and provides them with a financial award for their final year of studies.  Full Story


Bioengineering professor Bernhard Palsson receives 2016 International Metabolic Engineering Award

Bernhard Palsson, Galletti Professor of Bioengineering and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, has been named the recipient of the 2016 International Metabolic Engineering Award. The award, presented every two years by the International Metabolic Engineering Society (IMES), recognizes an outstanding career contributor to the field of metabolic engineering. Palsson is being honored for developing genome-scale metabolic modeling and simulation strategies for better understanding large metabolic and gene regulatory networks and for demonstrating application methods. The Metabolic Engineering Award and an associated lecture by Palsson will be presented on June 29, 2016 at the IMES-sponsored Metabolic Engineering 11 conference, which will take place June 26–30 in Awaji Island, Japan. Full Story


Distinguishing deadly Staph bacteria from harmless strains

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are the leading cause of skin, soft tissue and several other types of infections. Staph is also a global public threat due to the rapid rise of antibiotic-resistant strains, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. Yet Staph also commonly colonize our nasal passages and other body sites without harm. To better understand these bacteria and develop more effective treatments, University of California San Diego researchers examined not just a single representative Staph genome, but the "pan-genome" -- the genomes of 64 different strains that differ in where they live, the types of hosts they infect and their antibiotic resistance profiles. Full Story


No. 1 From the Start

Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have helped us understand why atherosclerosis develops and how it is impacted by blood flow. They have pioneered the development of very thin, small and flexible sensors that stick to the skin and monitor vital signs, such as the brain activity of a newborn. They also developed injectable hydrogels that can help muscle tissues heal after a heart attack. Researchers celebrated their achievements over the past five decades and looked to the future during a three-day 50th anniversary celebration May 19 to 21. Full Story


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Press Coverage


November 1, 2017

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN)

Weighing Protein Expression Levels with Cell Growth

After selecting an expression species, cell line, and conducting any organism- or gene-level engineering, manufacturers of therapeutic proteins entrust their productivity to media and feeds--the defining factors that nurture the best in cells. In 2015, world-renowned cell-culture expert Professor Florian Wurm, Dr. rer. nat., of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Lausanne) and cofounder of ExcellGene, told the author that media and feed were responsible for most of the improvements in monoclonal antibody yield in CHO cells. Since 2014, Dr. Wurm has doubled down on that message. Full Story


August 4, 2016

Stat News

LISTEN: The Chinese hamsters that helped birth biotech

The Chinese hamster has lead a secret life in science for decades. By one estimate from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 11 biotech drugs that are made using the ovary cells of these small rodents generated an incredible $57 billion in sales in 2013 alone. That's pretty incredible, given the Chinese hamster's humble beginnings as a pest in the fields. They've come a long way since 1948 when a scientist named Robert Briggs Watson smuggled a case of them out of China just as the Maoists were ousting the Nationalists. Full Story


January 21, 2016

Pharma Technology Focus

Tackling Big Pharma's Inconvenient Truth

Some 100,000 people in the US die from prescription drug side effects every year and 7% of all hospital admissions in the country are due to adverse drug reactions, costing the healthcare system nearly $150 billion. This statistic has inspired a group of scientists at the University of California, San Diego to develop a model that could be used to predict a drug's side effects on different patients. Full Story


January 15, 2016

GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Systems Biology Finally CHO-Ready

Nathan Lewis, Co-Director of the CHO Systems Biology Center at UC San Diego, describes new and emerging opportunities for applying the tools of systems biology to CHO systems. Full Story


November 20, 2015

Science Alert

Fat cells change the nutrients they consume as they mature

There are plenty of us who want to lose a little (or a lot of) weight, but despite all the research being done into how to trigger this process, there's still a lot we don't know about fat cells. Case in point, researchers in the US have just discovered that fat cells metabolise different nutrients as they mature. The research is limited to the lab for now, but it could help to explain why some people with obesity and diabetes find it so hard to lose weight. Full Story



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