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Prof Michael Hoare
Room 2.5
ACBE, Bernard Katz
Torrington Place
Tel: 020 7679 3795
Fax: 020 7916 3943
  • Professor of Biochemical Engineering
  • Dept of Biochemical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science
Research Themes
Research Summary
Mike Hoare’s research focuses on creating novel routes to speed the translation from life science discovery to outcome for next generation therapeutics and help ensure wider access. This particularly concerns advanced biological macromolecular and cellular materials and their processing using a complex sequence of stages from a bioreactor through recovery and purification to product formulation ready for delivery. Current challenges for such bioprocess studies include: whole antibodies or fragments or fusions and other therapeutic proteins; modified human cells (especially for cancer therapy), disabled viruses; whole human cells for regenerative therapy.
Much of this research is based on discovering ultra scale–down methods to study operations such as centrifugation, membranes, filters and chromatography at the multi–millilitre scale and more recently at the micro–litre scale to allow integration with robotic devices. This work is managed collaboratively with Professor N.J. Titchener–Hooker, Dr. Y. Zhou, Dr. D.G. Bracewell, Dr. Eli Keshavarz–Moore and Professor J.M. Ward (Structural and Molecular Biology) within the EPSRC–funded IMRC Bioprocessing programme. This programme currently involves fifteen leading national and international biopharmaceutical companies and fourteen UCL and UK academic groups of a wide range of disciplines complementary to biochemical engineering. Examples include collaboration with: Dr Mark Smales, University of Kent on mass spectrometry analysis of variants of antibody structures and the effects of bioprocessing; Professor David Williams and Dr Henk Versteeg, Loughborough University on plasmid DNA formulation and aerosolisation; Dr Kerry Chester, Royal Free Hospital, Oncology on bioprocessing of fusion proteins for targeted cancer therapies; Dr Colin Love and Professor Rob Coffin, Biovex and Molecular Pathology UCL on disabled viruses for vaccines. A recently awarded Technology Strategy Board Programme is enabling further collaboration between Onyvax, LGC, Nottingham Trent University (Bioinformatics Centre) and UCL on human cell bioprocessing for cell–based vaccine cancer therapy. Such activities benefit from the IMRC, BiCE and Human Cell Therapy bioprocessing initiatives in the Department and the MBI programme for knowledge transfer and dissemination.
Particular research achievements have included the successful creation of ultra scale–down mimics for high–speed, continuous–flow centrifuges where, from the tens of millilitre scale it has been possible to predict the performance of industrial scale centrifuges servicing 20000L mammalian cell culture vessels (in collaboration with Lonza Biologics) and of precipitation vessels for industrial preparation of human–blood plasma fractions (in collaboration with Bio Products Laboratories). This offers the opportunity to specify with greater levels of confidence and at earlier stages in process development the type and size (or throughput) of centrifuges to be used and also the quality of clarified supernatant and how this may impact on later downstream processing stages. This work is now being taken forward to address the more complex targets described above and also considerations of how the necessary response to emergency healthcare needs (e.g. rapid production of a vaccine) may best be met.
Funding for the above research has come from the EPSRC, especially for the EPSRC IMRC Bioprocessing and EPSRC IDTC EngD Bioprocess Leadership programmes, BBSRC Targetted Bioprocessing Studentships, the Technology Strategy Board Programme and a range of company collaborators including Lonza Biologics, UCB Celltech, Biovex, Pall Life Sciences, ReNeuron, ImmunoBiology, GSK, Stabilitech.
Teaching Summary
Mike’s current teaching focuses on addressing the issues which underlie the safe, reliable and cost effective preparation of biopharmaceuticals; that is, the development of so–called validated bioprocesses. This builds on the biochemical engineering skills already acquired by student groups at all levels, undergraduates, postgraduates, research scientists and engineers and also industrial delegates. Case studies and workshops are used to address some of the most challenging problems facing an industry seeking to make available next generation therapies and how research deliverables out of programmes such as IMRC, BiCE and Human Cell Therapy bioprocessing might help deal with these problems in the future.
This activity builds on the teaching activities of all of the academic staff and industrial expert contributors via the MBI® programme to biochemical engineering teaching including Mike’s own activities in design of: aspects of bioreactors (the heat transfer challenge); early recovery processes especially fractional precipitation and centrifugation; final product preservation via spray or freeze drying.
Mike is also delighted to be included in the panels of experts to help judge and provide feedback on the bioprocess enterprise presentations (Dr Eli Keshavarz–Moore and Dr Bill Hornby); the design study displays (Dr Suzanne Farid, Dr Farlan Veraitch, Dr Dan Bracewell); and the whole bioprocess experimental studies (Dr Dan Bracewell and Dr Martina Micheletti).
Most recently Mike has taken up the challenge of pioneering the translation of ultra scale-down technologies into the undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research and postexperience teaching programmes allowing the early syudy of the challenges of processing of next generation materials including mammalian cell, high cell density rec E.coli and human cell suspensions. HEIF and industrial club and EPSRC knowledge transfer funding are all supporting this venture.
2009 – 2011 Vice Dean Knowledge Exchange/Enterprise Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
2009 – 2011 Director/Chair EPSRC/IMRC Bioprocessing Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
2009 Director/Chair Advanced Centre Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
2002 – 2009 Head of Department Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
1998 – 2009 Professor Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
1991 – 1998 Lecturer/Reader in Biochemical Engineering Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
1977 – 1991 Biochemical Engineer Biochemical Engineering UKAEA/UCL, United Kingdom
1974 – 1977 Research Scientist Unilever Research Laboratory  , United Kingdom
1971 – 1974 Scientific Manager   Unilever Research Laboratory, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1981 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Biochemical Engineering University College London
1971 Dip. Diploma – Biochemical Engineering University College London
1971 MSc Master of Science – Biochemical Engineering University College London
1970 BEng hons Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) – Chemical Engineering University College London
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