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During the past decades, our understanding of the biochemical processes occurring within living cells, coupled with a growing awareness of the extraordinary facility and versatility of living organisms to produce useful and complex chemical products from a variety of inexpensive raw materials, has stimulated enormous interest in the biological manufacture of a variety of products. These range from therapeutic proteins to commodity chemicals. We address both fundamental and applied aspects involved in the biological production of these materials. Current research is focused on four main areas; bioseparations, metabolic engineering, enzyme biotechnology and marine biotechnology.

LAKE TAHOE, CA—Blanch lab ski trip, March 2004

Protein Precipitation and

Protein Aggregation
Electrophoretic separation of DNA

Metabolic Engineering:
Application to mammalian cells

Marine Biotechnology
Production of carotenoids and PUFAs
Host-guest chemistries for PUFA separations
Cultivation of sponge cells

New Research Areas
biomimetic and bio-inspired materials

Electrophoretic stretching of DNA reaches new lengths
Electrophoresis, both in gels and in polymer solutions, has been widely used for decades to isolate and purify DNA and protein, yet a complete description of the mechanisms by which polyelectrolytes are separated using this technique has not been developed.  The goal of graduate student Sean Ferree is attempting to describe the dynamic stretching properties of DNA. Full Text »

Protein causes insanity
Protein aggregation has been implicated in nearly 20 diseases and is a serious problem during the preparation of protein pharmaceuticals. We are currently trying to improve our understanding of the biophysical phenomena underlying protein aggregation by exploiting both experimental and computational approaches. by Troy Cellmer Full Text »

Who's fat?
The purification of omega-3 fatty acids can be achieved through selective crystallization of saturates and lower unsaturates in inclusion compounds.  An effective clathrate system for this application has been developed through the crystal engineering of guanidinium organodisulfonate hydrogen-bonded networks.  by Jason Voogt. Full Text »

sponges to save the world

More research...

Enzyme Biotechnology
RADKE LAB, UC Berkeley - Enzymes find increasing use in aqueous-organic systems for commercial production of specialty and intermediate-scale chemicals. The kinetics of enzyme reactions in supercritical fluids, reverse micelles and microcapsules has been the subject of earlier research in our laboratory. Current research is focused on the role and kinetics of enzymes at interfaces. The adsorption of proteins at oil/water interfaces is a complex phenomenon affecting enzymatic catalysis, biomaterials compatibility, and protein stability in formulations.

More joint research...

Peanuts.  Bad for your health
The Science of Peanuts
Doctors? Tracy, Sean Janet and David take the walk. Will the world be safe?

Jason - "The buns are in the oven"

Lakers sign Troy Cellmer in hopes of 2005 title


Personal of the month

Wei Liu

Being president has really given me a new lease on life.