Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Protein Engineering Canada Conference: A Review

Last month, leaders in the fields of protein engineering and synthetic biology met at the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, for the 3rd Protein Engineering Canada (PEC) Conference 2018. The PEC Conference encourages the exchange of ideas and aims to build collaborations in an engaging atmosphere by bringing together students, young investigators, and protein engineering experts. SGI-DNA was a proud contributor to the conference and hosted a lunch seminar entitled “Emerging Technologies: Library Construction using the BioXp™ 3200 System,” presented by Steve Riedmuller, Sr. Director of Field Application Science.

In the well-received seminar, Riedmuller discussed advantages of using the BioXp System for library construction. The BioXp System is an automated benchtop genomic workstation that builds synthetic linear DNA fragments with powerful applications for synthetic biology. DNA libraries are vital for drug discovery, and scientists working in protein engineering, discovery biology, structural biology, synthetic biology, antibody engineering, and enzyme engineering can benefit from BioXp™ Libraries to quickly determine an optimized targeted gene. The BioXp System offers a wide array of library types, including degenerate, variant, and scanning libraries. Riedmuller described the capabilities of the BioXp System and presented a case study demonstrating how the BioXp System drastically accelerated library production when used in conjunction with Gibson Assembly® cloning for the direct transfection of synthetic constructs. Additional details of rapid library construction can be found in this Application Note.

Riedmuller also discussed how the BioXp System can be used for accelerated cancer vaccine production. Introducing genes into eukaryotic cells provides a foundation for cancer vaccines. The premise behind cancer vaccines is that the presence of neoepitopes (“new” peptides that are the result of mutations in cancer cells only) can be used as a target to trigger a patient’s own immune response to specifically attack and destroy cancer cells. One of the technical hurdles of these types of personalized medicines is the time required to prepare an individualized treatment, in this case, a cancer vaccine. Using the BioXp System to build epitopes based on the genetic profile of a patient’s tumor cells dramatically reduces the turnaround time required for creating personalized cancer vaccines, which is critically important to patients facing a terminal diagnosis and recently discussed in this Seattle Times article

The BioXp System offers a high throughput solution for protein engineering and synthetic biology applications. In the hands of the scientists in attendance at the PEC Conference (and readers of this blog), this instrument offers new opportunities for faster and more expansive research and discovery.

For more information about the products and applications mentioned in this blog post, please see:

BioXp 3200 System –
Gibson Assembly Reagents -


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