[Lectures] Stem cell engineering in (micro) bioreactor: from regenerative medicine to high-throughput screening for drug discovery & Biorefinery for sustainable production of fuels and chemicals


Venue: Room 207, Building B6, University Town Campus
Speaker: Prof. Shang-Tian Yang,Ohio State University

Dr. S. T. Yang is Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University, where he has been on the faculty since 1985. He is also the director of Ohio Bioprocessing Research Consortium and has worked with many companies in technology development and commercialization. Dr. Yang received his B.S. degree in Agricultural Chemistry from National Taiwan University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemical Engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Yang has broad research interests in bioengineering. His current research involves biocatalysis, metabolic engineering, stem cell engineering, and high-throughput cell-based assays and biodiagnostics. He has 12 patents and more than 350 scientific publications in the bioengineering field with more than 14,000 citations and an h-index of 69. Dr. Yang is also a co-founder of two biotechnology startup companies. He is an elected fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Associate Editor for the journal Process Biochemistry, past chair of Division 15 Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and an active member of American Chemical Society (ACS) and Society of Biological Engineering.

Lecture 1: Stem cell engineering in (micro) bioreactor: from regenerative medicine to high-throughput screening for drug discovery
Time: December 13, Friday, 10:00

Stem cells with pluripotency and ability to differentiate into all types of somatic cells have important applications in regenerative medicine and drug discovery. How to mass produce stem cells and their derived cells and control stem cell fate in bioreactors has been a grand challenge for decades. We have been working on a fibrous scaffold as 3D carriers for growing various types of stem cells in bioreactors. The 3D fibrous carriers provide conditions mimicking in vivo microenvironments to facilitate cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation to desirable cell types. We have also developed fluorescent stem cells for high-throughput drug screening in novel microbioreactors. Drug responses of EGFP-expressing stem cells in 3D cultures can be monitored in real time and noninvasively for cytotoxicity and embryotoxicity assessments. In addition to drug discovery, the 3D cultures in microbioreactors can also be used for medium optimization and cell culture process development.

Lecture 2: Biorefinery for sustainable production of fuels and chemicals
Time: December 16, Monday, 10:00

Biomass represents an abundant carbon-neutral renewable resource which can be converted to energy and chemicals to replace fossil fuels and petrochemicals. A biorefinery should utilize all components of biomass feedstock to produce energy, fuels and chemicals to maximize product values, minimize wastes generation, and improve process economics. Current biorefineries using corn, soybeans, and sugarcane for bioethanol and biodiesel production can benefit from integrated biorefining that is to extract high-value nutritional products while using the main feedstock component for biofuels production and further converting low-value byproducts to additional marketable products such as chemicals, energy (fuels, heat and electricity) and animal feed. Lignocellulosic biomass, including forestry and agricultural residues, as the second generation feedstock in biorefineries offers the opportunity to meet 30% of the nation’s fuel and chemical needs by 2030, although many technology challenges remain to overcome. In addition, aquacultures of micro- and macro-algae could provide all of the future fuel needs without constraining the current agriculture land use. To achieve sustainable fuels and chemicals production, new advances in process engineering and metabolic engineering for biomass conversion will be required. This seminar will focus on recent development of novel bioprocesses for production of biofuels and industrial chemicals currently produced mainly by petroleum-based chemical synthesis. The high oil price and environmental concerns over petroleum refinery prompted interests in producing biofuels and bio-based chemicals from renewable biomass via fermentation. Conventional fermentation processes for solvents and organic acids production are limited by low productivity and yield. However, metabolic and process engineering approaches can be used to greatly improve both the producing microorganism and the bioreactor performance, reducing the cost of the bio-based chemicals to an economically competitive level. Several bioprocesses using metabolically engineered microorganisms for butanol and carboxylic acids production from renewable biomass will be highlighted in this presentation.

Announced by the School of Biology and Biological Engineering