August 31 Biotech Connector to Explore Advances in Protein Production

By Victoria Brun, contributing writer, Center for Innovation and Strategic Partnerships
Biotech Connector flyer with names of presenters and talks

Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared on the Frederick National Laboratory website.

Proteins—large molecules composed of amino acids—perform an array of essential roles with the body, from catalyzing chemical reactions to providing structure to cells. As such, they are critical tools for a variety of biomedical research and gene therapy applications. However, generating the large yields of high-quality proteins needed for research and the clinic is no easy feat. 

The next Biotech Connector will explore advances in protein production happening in the Frederick, Md., area with talks from three experts working in the field. It is set for 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 31, at the Frederick National Laboratory’s Advanced Technology Research Facility in Frederick. 

Overcoming Challenges  

Dominic Esposito, Ph.D., director of the Protein Expression Laboratory at the Frederick National Laboratory, will discuss some of the challenges in protein production and how his laboratory has improved protein yields and quality. In particular, he will focus on his work as part of the RAS Initiative, developing proteins that support research against RAS-driven cancers.  

“At this point, the easy-to-produce proteins have all been made. Unfortunately, the proteins that are needed to attack difficult diseases like cancer are not the easy ones,” said Esposito. “For that reason, technology improvements that permit these essential protein targets to be made at high yield are vital to the future of biotech and pharmaceutical research.” 

Carter Mitchell, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, Kemp Proteins, will present on how his team is leveraging bioinformatic and structural analyses to design processes that can produce difficult-to-express proteins. Using computational tools, his team is better able to predict what protein production workflows will be successful.  

Jonathan Zmuda, Ph.D., director of Cell Biology R&D within the Biosciences Division, Thermo Fisher Scientific, will discuss how Thermo Fisher is harnessing human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells to produce viruses for use in gene therapy applications—from the bench to the clinic. 

Register Now 

This event, offered both in-person and online, is free and open to the public, but registration is required

This event is co-sponsored by the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.  


Victoria Brun is a partnership project manager in the Frederick National Laboratory Center for Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, where she provides project management support across the office’s broad portfolio of collaborative projects. Among its functions, CISP establishes the partnerships and collaborations among Frederick National Laboratory scientists and external researchers in government, academia, industry, and the nonprofit research sector.