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Prof Qasim Rafiq
S2.08 (Bernard Katz Building)
Department of Biochemical Engineering
University College London
Gower Street
London
WC1E 6BT
Prof Qasim Rafiq profile picture
Appointment
  • Associate Professor in Bioprocessing of Regenerative, Cellular and Gene
  • Dept of Biochemical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science
Biography

Qasim is an Associate Professor in Cell and Gene Therapy Bioprocess Engineering. He is Chartered Engineer (CEng), a Chartered Scientist (CSci), a  Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and was recognised as one of the top 20 influential and inspirational individuals in Advanced Medicine for 2020 by The Medicine Maker listed amongst Nobel Laureates, multi-national CEOs and leading scientists.

Other current and previous roles include:
- BioIndustry Association, Cell and Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (2018 – to date)
- EPSRC Early Career Forum in Manufacturing (2018 – to date)
- ISCT Nomination Committee (2020 - to date)
- ISCT Early Stage Professional Committee (2019 – to date)
- IChemE Biochemical Engineering Special Interest Group Committee (2016 - to date)
- British Standards Institute (BSI) Biotechnology Committee (2018 - to date)
- ESACT-UK Committee (Scientific Programme Lead, 2015 - 2019)

Journals
- Executive Editorial Board and Reviews Editor, Biotechnology Letters (2014 - to date)
- Associate Editor, Cytotherapy (2021 - to date)
- Reviews Editor, Frontiers of Bioengineering and Biotechnology (2021 - to date)
- Guest Editor for Cell and Gene Therapy Special Issue, Processes (2020 - to date)
- Guest Editor of two Automation Journal Special Issues, Cell and Gene Therapy Insights
- Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College (2016-Present)
- PhD external examiner for 20 candidates nationally and internationally
- Peer reviewer >30 journals including Biochemical Engineering Journal & Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Qasim joined UCL in 2017 having previously graduated with an MEng in Biochemical Engineering from UCL (2004 - 2008). Following his undergraduate degree, Qasim was awarded a PhD at Loughborough University (2009 - 2013) in Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing. He was then awarded an independent EPSRC E-TERM Landscape Fellowship (£250k) to lead his own research activity at Loughborough University (2013 - 2015). Prior to joining UCL, he was a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at Aston Univeristy in Bioprocess Engineering (2015 - 2017).

Research Summary

Dr Qasim Rafiq is an Associate Professor at University College London in Cell and Gene Therapy Bioprocess Engineering. He is a multidisciplinary engineer working at the life science, engineering and commercial interfaces with a research focus on the bioprocessing, automation and biomanufacture of cell and gene-based therapies. Product applications include stem cells (mesenchymal, haematopoietic and pluripotent), extracellular vesicles and gene-modified T-cells. He has specific interest in addressing the large-scale manufacturing challenges and enhancing process and product understanding to enable successful translation from the laboratory to the clinic.

Qasim currently leads a research portfolio of >£5M as Principal Investigator and >£20M as Co-Investigator and leads the Cell and Gene Therapy Bioprocess Engineering group at UCL which includes 4 post-doctoral researchers and 11 PhD students. He has collaborated with >25 industrial and clinical partners and has an extensive track record of clinical and commercial delivery.

He is Programme Director of a new MSc programme at UCL in “Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies” and is actively involved in national and international training programmes to deliver the scientific, technology and business leaders that will drive the industry forward.

Prior to joining UCL, he was an Assistant Professor at Aston University where he established the Bioprocess Engineering Group. He completed his PhD in Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing at Loughborough University (UK) in collaboration with Lonza, a leading biotechnology contract manufacturing organisation, where he was the first to demonstrate the litre-scale production of hMSCs on microcarriers in stirred-tank bioreactors.

He has won awards for his research and public engagement activities and in 2020 was recognised as one of the top 20 influential and inspirational individuals in Advanced Medicine by The Medicine Maker listed amongst Nobel Laureates, multi-national CEOs and leading scientists.

Teaching Summary

Qasim's teaching activities span all years of the various undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes operated by the department. He is the Programme Initiator and Programme Director of the MSc in Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies and is the Academic Lead for the Cell and Gene Therapy MBI industrial training programme.

At undergraduate level, he is the Academic Lead for the Regenerative Medicine Minor, which spans Year 2 and Year 3 of the UCL Engineering programmes. He also leads the Introduction to Biochemical Engineering module (Year 1) and the Pilot Plant Week Scenario (Year 2).


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