Visiting Academic

Professor Susan Sharfstein joined the Centre as Visiting Academic from the United States. Susan is a Professor of Nanobioscience at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, in Albany, New York (the state capital) which is about 2 ½ hours north of New York City and 3 hours west of Boston.
The focus of her research program is in mammalian cell biotechnology, primarily the use of cultured mammalian cells to produce therapeutic proteins (mostly antibodies) and carbohydrates (particularly heparin and heparin-like molecules). Her research team are particularly interested in developing a fundamental understanding of how process conditions affect production, identifying the ideal characteristics for an industrial cell line, and exploring the role of protein sequence on manufacturability. Her sabbatical in Australia is supported by a Fulbright Global Scholar Award.  

While at UQ, Susan will be working with Professor Stephen Mahler and the Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation in two areas. The first is setting up a perfusion culture system for a collaboration with Patheon Biologics (part of Thermofisher) to answer some fundamental questions about the role of culture conditions on productivity and product quality for perfusion systems. The second project will examine how cell lines and protein products can be optimized to produce bispecific antibodies. Bispecific antibodies are next generation biopharmaceuticals that recognize multiple antigens. They can be used for a variety of applications including recruiting immune cells to tumors or to produce longer-acting antibodies by noncovalent interaction with engineered polymers. In addition, she will work with Professor Lars Nielson to analyze proteomic data that she generated in Ireland.