Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Kent
Professor Smales is currently Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Kent and the Director of the Centre for Molecular Processing. His research interests cover all of upstream bioprocessing and are based around reverse cell engineering approaches, systems and synthetic biology, vector manipulation (UTRs, promoters, transcription factor binding sites), mRNA translation, signalling in response to environmental stimuli and the influence on cell growth and productivity, and the identification of target genes/proteins for manipulation (or markers for screening purposes) in order to enhance therapeutic protein production from in vitro cultured mammalian cells. In addition he has an interest in translational and transcriptional control during coldshock or reduced temperature culturing and mRNA translational constraints on recombinant mRNA and protein synthesis. He has led research pioneering new approaches to identify host cell proteins (HCP) and their characterisation, and how cell lines can be screened for, or engineered, to reduce problematic HCPs. His group have also been involved in developing experimentally verifiable predictive models that define the constraints upon the high level expression of biodrugs that allows cell specific identification of limitations and tailored engineering approaches. A major focus of his work is currently reducing heterogeneity of recombinant protein products from mammalian cells. He is currently an Executive Editor of Biotechnology Letters and on the board of Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry. He has given multiple keynote presentations at international conferences and published widely in the area.