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Alexander Frey

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Personal profile

Artistic and research interests

I received my D.Sc. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) in the field of Biotechnology in 2002. After a post-doctoral position at the University of Zürich at the Institute of Medical Virology, I returned to ETHZ, where I started to develop my research interest in engineering of cellular production systems.

My research group focuses on the rationale design of novel and improved production organisms using state-of-the art molecular biology tools in combination with high throughput screening approaches.

Every day, all over the world, baker’s yeast is used to make food and drink. Many societies have been using yeast for such purposes for thousands of years. Yeast’s importance has led to it being well-studied. In recent years, this has resulted in yeast being used not only in the production of food, but also in the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. Using yeast as working horse, we create new ways to make “tried and tested” products such as therapeutic antibodies – however in a more efficient way than with the existing production methods. The areas of our research are related to recombinant protein production in general and we develope key expertise in protein N-glycosylation and protein folding and secretion. In addition, my research group is developing novel approaches for biosynthesis of biologically active oligosaccharides and utilizing molecular biotechnology for development of materials.

Our research is published in the leading journals of the field and the most cited article received more than 100 citations. In addition, the research has resulted in several patent applications.


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