Molecular farming, or the production of recombinant proteins in plants, is a rapidly-growing field of research whose products are increasingly making their way to market. Complex multi-protein products such as virus-like particles for reo-, orbi- and picornaviruses can be made, and show great promise as candidate vaccines for veterinary and human use. Plant viruses also provide useful vectors for high-level expression of foreign proteins in plants, and the potential for tailored nanoparticle production. The talk will take examples from the work of the Biopharming Research Unit at the University of Cape Town to illustrate specific examples.


Professor Ed Rybicki is the director of the Biopharming Research Unit and Professor in Microbiology in the department of Molecular & Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town. This is what he says about himself: “I am 62, and aging disreputably. I enjoy reading widely about science, teaching postgraduate virology and biotechnology, and trying to make vaccines and high-value reagents and biologics in plants and other expression systems. I am on sabbatical leave in 2017, with the intention of writing an ebook on Introductory Virology to serve as a textbook for my undergraduate teaching from 2018. More generally, I enjoy family, red wine, photography, classic rock and hard science fiction.

About AIBN Seminar Series

The AIBN Seminar series showcases a range of seminars across different topics and disciplines