eCHO Systems

Theo Mozzanino , UoK

Why have you chosen to do a PhD in an international collaboration project?


I have a two-year technical degree (Diplome Universitaire Technique, Aurillac, France) with a specialisation in bioinformatics. This gave me the basics of the –omics (genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics) area and a strong experimental knowledge. This formation was followed by an engineering degree in Biotechnology (Polytech, Marseille, France), equivalent to a Master’s degree, focused on biological engineering and process engineering. My theoretical formation was completed with several internships in academia (French National Centre for Scientific Research and French National Institute for Agronomic research) and industry (Sanofi Pasteur).

I decided to look for a PhD in an international program because it’s an exceptional opportunity to evolve in an international environment. You can develop your network and exchange with people at the state of the art. Moreover, on a personal plan it’s the opportunity to discover a new culture, way to work and to perfect my English.

My lab and the PhD-project I am doing

My project is based at the University of Kent, Canterbury in the Smales team.  This group, relying on an extensive experience in proteome analysis and gene expression, is focused on the improvement of bioprocessing and recombinant protein production in mammalian systems.

What kind of tips would you give to future PhDs taking part in an ITN?

My PhD is entitled “Engineering of the secretory pathway of CHO cells”. The secretory pathway is an important process starting with the endoplasmic reticulum and finishing with the secretion of proteins into the surrounding environment. Three main strategies have been considered for the engineering of the secretory pathway to improve its capacity and efficiency: translocation engineering, UPR engineering and vesicle traffic and formation optimisation. This project is focused upon novel approaches for the improvement of proteins involved in UPR, those involved in ER expansion and key target proteins central to vesicle formation and trafficking.