Recovery, purification of therapeutic proteins an economic and scientific challenge
The economics of producing biopharmaceuticals from transgenic plants such as tobacco is still a roadblock to producing large quantities of urgently needed medicines, especially for people in underdeveloped nations. Chenming (Mike) Zhang is testing a variety of ways to economically recover recombinant proteins from transgenic tobacco using different protein separation techniques.
Zhang, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, is working with a team of three Ph.D. students to develop transgenic tobacco plants able to express recombinant proteins economically. Recombinant proteins are potential therapeutic agents for treating human and animal diseases and creating new vaccines. Plant-made vaccines are especially beneficial because plants are free of human diseases, reducing the cost to screen for viruses and bacterial toxins.
Karen Gilbert | EurekAlert!
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