Advancing Cell-free Protein Production for Therapeutic Production in the Real World ABSTRACT

Advancing Cell-free Protein Production for
Therapeutic Production in the Real World
Kenneth Yancey, Ph.D. Student, Cornell University
Imagine a world where therapeutics can be produced in a matter of hours as opposed to
days or weeks. Such a world may become viable through the supplement of traditional
cell-based production with cell free protein production (CFP) methods. Traditional cellbased methods for producing therapeutics are inherently limited in their ability to
tolerate toxic intermediates or products, and are constrained by the natural cellmaintenance processes that compete for cell resources. By removing living cells from
the equation, cell-free protein production (CFP) creates an open system for monitoring,
sampling and direct manipulation. Such a system can be engineered to overproduce a
single product, remove any processes that inhibit production, and hasten
process/product development timelines. However, despite the fact that CFP has been
used for decades as a fundamental research tool, it is only recently that advances in
CFP have begun to make it a viable method for large-scale production of therapeutics.
Our lab has contributed to the development of CFP technology by employing DNA and
clay hydrogels to immobilize plasmids and inhibit nucleases, resulting in a 300-fold
enhanced production yield over conventional CFP systems. In this presentation, I will
discuss the current state of CFP as well as our efforts in developing cost effective and
high throughput CFP platforms. I will focus on our work with DNA and clay hydrogels
and will conclude with a discussion of future directions of the field specifically regarding
progress towards industrial scale applications.
Kenneth G. Yancey received his B.S. and M.S. from Clarkson University and presently
is a Ph.D. student at Cornell University. He is a National Science Foundation Graduate
Fellow and EAPSI Fellow and has several publications in the area of DNA
nanotechnology, nucleic acid detection and responsive polymers. His interests lie in
these areas as well as the production of therapeutics via cell-free protein production.
2015 New York State Biotechnology Symposium • May 12 & 13, 2015
At Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY