Blaine Pfeifer

PhD

Blaine Pfeifer

PhD

Blaine Pfeifer

PhD

Research Topics

Metabolic Engineering; heterologous natural product biosynthesis; genetic vaccine design

Contact Information

904 Furnas Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260

Phone: (716) 645-1198

Fax: (716) 645-3822

blainepf@buffalo.edu

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Research Topics

  • Cellular, metabolic, and process engineering
  • Natural product biosynthesis
  • Therapies for infectious disease and cancer
  • New gene delivery systems

Research Overview

From an engineering perspective, our group seeks to influence cellular, metabolic, and process events required for the production of a therapeutic product.

As an example, our group takes a molecular and process engineering approach to generating therapeutic natural products. In this particular application, tools and concepts from molecular biology, microbiology, analytical chemistry, and bacterial genetics support the development of microbial bio-processes and products. The particular compounds and processes we strive to produce target diseases that include cancer and bacterial infections.

A common research theme in our lab is to find more efficient and economical ways to generate biological products. One approach taken is to transplant the genetic material responsible for an important therapeutic product into a convenient and process-friendly bacterial microorganism (such as Escherichia coli) for eventual product scale-up and development. Current projects include:

  • The cellular and metabolic optimization for the production of the antibiotic erythromycin. Here, we are interested in optimizing the cellular biosynthetic process leading to large-scale process optimization.
  • The production of new and established anticancer compounds. This research aim seeks to generate potent anticancer agents through recombinant DNA technology. One particular target of interest is the anticancer drug Taxol.
  • The development of new biological vaccine systems.
  • Modeling and experimental efforts to better understand cellular bottlenecks in natural product biosynthesis.

In conclusion, our research program emphasizes emerging and multiple disciplines to augment a traditional engineering education and embraces both chemical and biological engineering. Coupled with a group infrastructure that emphasizes commitment, teamwork, organization, creativity, and independence, our goal is to equip the student with the technical know-how and intellectual preparation to conduct and lead research.

Research Projects

11/17/17
The Pfeifer research group engineers the biosynthesis of complex natural product small molecules through an approach termed heterologous biosynthesis, in which a surrogate microbial host is utilized to access the compound of interest.
11/17/17
The Pfeifer research group is interested in establishing the production of the antibiotic erythromycin, studying its altered antibiotic activity, and identifying new antibiotic compounds.
11/17/17
The Pfeifer research group is interested in generating a compound with broad metal binding capability to explore applications in removal and recapture from environmental or industrial water streams. 
11/17/17
At the cellular level, the Pfeifer research group utilizes molecular engineering to reprogram microbial metabolism.  The tools utilized to do so span molecular biology and microbiology, which then serve to enable the reactions or functions supporting various research goals.
11/17/17
The Pfeifer research group has designed multiple vehicles for vaccine delivery to enhance the final immune response. These delivery devices have included microbial cells engineered to trigger a strong and directed immune response.

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