Ben Woolston


Research:

Other Stuff:

Publications and Patents:

Presentations:



Research:  (BS Honors, 2011)

I joined the Curtis lab in the summer of 2009, after working for two years in an organic synthesis laboratory. My primary project (and honors thesis) was co-adivsed by Dr. Pete Romaine in Plant Pathology, and investigated the potential of the button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) to function as a heterologous protein production platform for manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. During the course of this research, we unearthed a novel long-distance protein translocation system, whereby protein produced in the lower mycelium is shuttled upwards to the fruiting body during its development. The system is described in more detail in this paper. Further research on this project aimed to understand the range of proteins subject to translocation and the mechanism by which it occurs, and to increase overall protein expression levels through the use of ‘hyper-translatable’ viral leader sequences that have recently been shown to accomplish this goal in plant systems.

The summer after graduation, I was recruited to the lab’s ARPA-E project to advance the genetic engineering of Rhodobacter for isoprenoid production. I designed and constructed several vectors for both constitutive and inducible expression, in addition to a novel suicide vector for genomic integration of target genes with simultaneous knock-out of undesired functionality.

Honors thesis: “Development of agaricus bisporus as a platform for heterologous expression of biopharmaceuticals” Penn State University, 44p.  

I am now pursuing my PhD in Chemical Engineering at MIT with support of an NSF Fellowship, where I recently joined Dr. Greg Stephanopoulo’s Metabolic Engineering lab, and will be working on the genetic manipulation of a syn-gas fermenting microbe as part of that group’s ARPA-E project.


Other Stuff:


 


Publications and Patents:  

Long-distance Translocation of Protein During Morphogenesis of the Fruiting Body in the Filamentous Fungus, Agaricus bisporus.

B. Woolston et. al, 2011. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28412. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028412


Strategies for the Transgenic Manipulation of Filamentous Fungi

C. Peter Romaine, Carl Schlagnhaufer and Benjamin Woolston, 2010 (Patent WO/2011/130247)


Presentations:  

Integrated Bioprocess Systems for Low-Cost Environmental Remediation and Sustainable Biofertilizer Production (PDF)   J. Guo (Speaker), A. Tuerk (Speaker), E. Wolcott (Speaker), B. Woolston (Speaker), W. Khatri, W. Curtis, EPA P3 Expo, Washington, DC - 04/17/11


Development of a Mushroom-Based Platform for Large-Scale Production of Heterologous Proteins

B. Woolston (Speaker), C. Schlagnhaufer, W. Curtis and CP. Romaine

1st Place Prize in AIChE National Student Paper Competition, Salt Lake City, UT  - 11/08/2010


Long-Distance Movement of Protein in Agaricus bisporus

B. Woolston (Speaker), C. Schlagnhaufer, W. Curtis, CP. Romaine

PSU Plant Pathology Departmental Seminar, University Park, PA – 10/11/2010


Spawn vs. CI – Battle for Control of Mushroom Formation

B. Woolston (Speaker), C. Schlagnhaufer, W. Curtis, CP. Romaine

52nd Annual Mushroom Industry Conference, University Park, PA - 6/14/2010


Toward the Development of a Mushroom-Based Platform for Large-Scale Production of Heterologous Protein

B. Woolston (Speaker), C. Schlagnhaufer, W. Curtis and CP. Romaine, 04/07/2010

1st Place Prize in AIChE Regional Student Paper Competition, Baltimore, MD
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