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Canada’s Solarvest funded for two algae projects

July 24, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Solarvest BioenergyCharlottetown, Prince Edward Island-based Solarvest Bioenergy Inc. (Solarvest) has received approval for two Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) projects. The projects funded by NSERC often support a post graduate student researching in a NSERC supported field, to work with a company to further their R&D objectives.

The first NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships Program (IPS) project “Expression of recombinant proteins in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (algae) using a unique fusion system” is in partnership with Dr. Illimar Altosaar’s laboratory at the University of Ottawa.

C. reinhardtii has demonstrated protein expression at commercially significant levels with the benefit of having the cellular machinery to properly fold and assemble human proteins and antibodies that reproduce natural forms. This results in highly effective and valuable proteins that make excellent candidates for active biologics and vaccines. The project will study a method of expression with the objective of developing a process that will enable the efficient and cost effective purification of recombinant therapeutic proteins.

The second approved Engage Program project, “Molecular characterization of the Solarvest H2 (hydrogen) producing algal strain for the development of targets for strain and process improvement,” is in partnership with Dr. Patrick C. Hallenbeck’s laboratory at the University of Montreal. This project is focused on further defining specific operational conditions that will enhance hydrogen production in the Solarvest proprietary algal strain Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Cyc6nac2.49, and to identify key molecules that are involved in regulating increased hydrogen production – sought due to its value as a totally clean fuel.

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