About CBB

Biotechnology is a movement many believe will mark one of the first and most dramatic innovations of the 21st Century. For more than twenty years, CBB has been combining first-class scientific faculty with cutting-edge facilities to reshape and define new technologies for chemical, pharmaceutical, nutritional and agrochemical industries. In 1995, we opened our new laboratory at The University of Iowa Research Park (previously called Oakdale Research Park) North of the University of Iowa, where our multidisciplinary faculty has continued to dedicate themselves to education, research, and technology transfer related to biocatalysis and bioprocessing. We are proud that in the past two decades our scientists have routinely made significant contributions to the advancement of science while working with industrial, governmental, and academic clients. We also have continued to work to bring life science-based companies to Iowa.

Today, the CBB consists of a growing number of more than 50 faculty members and more than 300 researchers, including graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral scientists, technicians, and visiting faculty and industrial scientists. Our faculty members come from ten different departments, and we are home to more than 20 predoctoral fellows. Our principal areas of study include biocatalyst fundamental properties, bioremediation, bioprocessing, new biocatalyst discovery, novel biocatalyst applications, biosensing technology, and reactive agent development.

Since 1983, the CBB has:

  • Established the first endowed chair in biocatalysis in the nation (held by Professor David T. Gibson).

  • Attracted more than 250 world-class speakers to our seminar program.

  • Created the first UI Fermentation Facility through a successful NSF grant application.

  • Received Board of Regents recognition as the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing in the state of Iowa.

  • Garnered NSF and NIH Training Grants, renewed through several cycles.

  • Opened State-of-the-art contract fermentation and purification facilities in 1995. These facilities are the primary laboratories for contract fermentation related services in the state of Iowa. The laboratories continue to offer complete confidentiality and incubator company support, CBB pilot plant operates with a discipline of good documentation, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and safe laboratory practices.

  • In 2004, CBB acquired a state-of-the-art cGMP Downstream Protein Purification Facility. In 2006, CBB added a State-of-the-art cGMP contract fermentation facility. This was supported with a $3 million grant from Grow Iowa Value Fund. The new cGMP facility will enable CBB to expand its support of clients by manufacturing clinical-trial-quality protein pharmeuticals.

  • Supported state and university plans to establish an environment attractive to the biotechnology industry.

  • Received $18 million NSF ERC – Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis grant together with University of Kansas, Washington University at St. Louis and Prairie View A&M. UI portion $ 3.57 mil.

  • Received 14 patents on glycolate oxidase (GO) technology from E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Co.