Biochemical Engineering



UCL Biochemical Engineering researcher

The Department is a world leader in bioprocess research creating novel engineering solutions to underpin future biomanufacturing operations across a range of sectors. The interdisciplinary Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering (ACBE) coordinates bioprocess research and training across UCL and with numerous external collaborators from academia and industry. In the recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF2014), 90% of our research activity was rated either ‘World Leading’ or ‘Internationally Excellent’.

Biochem research chart

ACBE research spans fundamental studies through to their application and impact on clinical and commercial practice.

Fundamental research focuses on Synthetic Biology and the rational engineering of biological systems to deliver new safe, efficient and sustainable bioprocess options. Research on High Throughput Bioprocess Design focuses on the creation of novel experimental devices by which to evaluate the impact of Synthetic Biology outputs on future biomanufacturing operations. These are combined with modelling tools to predict ultimate large scale performance and their economic and environmental impact.

Our research addresses challenges in the three most important sectors of the advanced bioprocess-using industries. The Industrial Biotechnology group focuses on biocatalysis and the sustainable synthesis of chemicals and pharmaceuticals from renewable resources. The Macromolecular Medicines group addresses the manufacture of advanced biopharmaceutical therapies including antibodies, genes and recombinant vaccines. Finally, the Cell Therapy Bioprocessing group is concerned with the translation of stem cell science into novel cell and tissue-based therapies.

The ACBE represents the largest academic bioprocessing group in the World and provides a unique environment for this research. The Centre has outstanding facilities following capital investments worth over £30 million in recent years and has wide access to other resources across UCL; one of the world’s top universities and which was rated first in the UK in terms of ‘research strength’ in REF2014. Research and industrial grant income currently stands at nearly £25 million and supports over 100 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. Major strategic investments include the Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing Hub and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership.

If you believe you can contribute to our research excellence, are interested in research training or can complement our activities please contact us.