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New engineering lab to improve viral vector processes and technologies

VVIRAL lab header image showing a closeup image of beakers and clear glass laboratory containers.

By Margaret Huffman
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

A new engineering lab on Centennial Campus will refine the manufacturing processes of viral vectors to be faster, less expensive and scalable.

Viral vectors are viruses that have been modified to deliver genetic material into cells for treatment or research. Because viruses already naturally know how to deliver their genomes into cells they want to infect, scientists can use non-pathogenic viruses as a vehicle to introduce what they need directly into a cell.

The Viral Vector Initiative in Research and Learning (NC-VVIRAL) Lab will develop innovative purification and sensing processes that are affordable and highly scalable for commercial applications.

Michael Daniele, associate professor in electrical and computer engineering and Stefano Menegatti, associate professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering, will oversee a multi-disciplinary group of engineering students and scientists who will investigate chromatography, microelectronics, data analytics and more.

“We are open for business. We are open to consulting and collaborating with the industries.” Menegatti said. “We have accumulated here the critical mass of instruments and cross-disciplinary expertise” to get better products into the market, faster.

The lab launches on July 22, 2022, in Engineering Building III.

Hear more from Daniele and Menegatti about the NC-VVIRAL Lab in the video below.

This post was originally published in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.