This site provides periodic updates of lab activities: publication of papers, awards, graduations etc.
A culmination of FIVE years of iterations on reactor designs with numerous unforeseen obstacles along the way, CurtisLab's manuscript, A Temporary Immersion Plant Propagation Bioreactor with Decoupled Gas and Liquid Flows for Enhanced Control of Gas Phase, was accepted to Biotechnology Progress. It details development of our Hy-TIB reactor, a Hydrostatically-driven Temporary Immersion Bioreactor that emphasizes low-cost scaleability for plant propagation, which is essential given their generally miniscule pricing. Current research involves its scale-up with collaborations in Africa towards propagation of Dioscorea (yam--not sweet potato--) to help feed millions. Sergio Florez, Matt Curtis, and Sydney Shaw spent COUNTLESS hours with massive the assistance of Nate Hamaker---not to mention the venerable Jeff Larsen.
CurtisLab's book chapter, Production of biofuel-related isoprenoids derived from Botryococcus braunii, was accepted into the Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Protocols on November 12th, 2015. It details methods of extraction and analysis of squalene produced by native and alternative hosts using both GC-FID performed by CurtisLab's Nymul Khan and Bill Muzika and state-of-the-art TOF-SIMS (Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) by Winograd Lab collaborator, Lauren Jackson.
Ramya & Trevor's Paper, Physiology, genomic, and pathway engineering of an ethanol-tolerant strain of Clostridium phytofermentans was accepted on May 27th, 2015 to Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Big thanks to Billy for carrying on the work and Tina for her help in the final push for submission.
After thousands of hours of work and seemingly dozens of iterations, CurtisLab's Dr. Khan (PhD. '15), alumnus Ben Woolston (PhD Candidate, MIT), and 'partner-in-review', Dr. Eric Nybo (Ferris State, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry), Metabolic Engineering Review was finally accepted on April 29th, 2015!!! Download the Accepted Manuscript now and/or DOI: 10.1016/j.ymben.2015.04.008 in the near future!
Recipients from the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) Dinner held April 23rd, 2015.
Left to Right: Dr. Andrew Zydney, M.J. Smith, Laurinda Benner, Dr. Wayne Curtis, & Dr. Rob Rioux!
Dean Elnashai awards Dr. Curtis the The Lawrence J. Perez Memorial Student Advocate Award, which recognizes a College of Engineering faculty member who contributes to the welfare of students and enriches the College by his or her willingness to devote significant time and effort to assist students with academic and/or personal problems. Nominated by his fellow students, excerpts from nomination letters were shared including the noteworthy mention of his willingness to put students first despite a "timebomb of a calendar"---Thanks Olga!!
Dr. Curtis & his 'entourage'
From left to right: Erica Lennox, Olga Vinogradova, Danielle Dunshee, Dr. Wayne Curtis, Erik Curtis, & Rachel Erwin
Congratulations to Kristin O'Neill and her Undergraduate helpers ... as this paper was a 'side project' that was left on a back-burner for nearly a decade as we dealt with a broadening of the labs research focus. The basic concept is to utilize transgenic plant material expressing a vaccine epitope for pathogenic E.coli as basis for animal vacination when they eat it. The scaling work was done in a 60L pilot plant bioreactor. Scale-up of transgenic tobacco cells that express intimin of enterohemorrhagicEscherichia coli O157:H7 for use as a transitional platform for an oral cattle vaccine.
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