Dr. Mark Arnold, CBB Director

I am pleased to welcome you to the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing (CBB).

The CBB is an academic center that reports to the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Iowa. The Center strives to enhance the education of students and to advance both basic and applied research in the biocatalytic sciences. The CBB also operates a contract bioprocessing facility with nearly thirty (30) years of experience & counting in both the process development and scale-up of biomanufacturing processes.

The Center, funded by the State of Iowa, builds on a tradition of productive interactions between faculty, students, other academic institutions, industry, and government. Success of the CBB is attributable to this cooperation and collaboration. Founded in 1983 as the Biocatalysis Research Group, it was the first cluster of scientists in the United States dedicated to the unique area of biocatalytic sciences. Strengths of our program are underlined by the large amount of annual research support that the faculty receives from extramural awards and a long history of training grant support that has supported more than 265  predoctoral fellows, and the involvement of more than 72 faculty members and their research groups from 13 departments  across UI campus.

We are excited by the support the CBB receives from the State of Iowa, our central administration, and the numerous programs that have been spawned through the CBB. Our state-of-the-art pilot-scale fermentation and bioprocessing facility is unsurpassed. This facility offers contract services to the biotechnology community with interests in microbial biomanufacturing of protein products. Such an advanced facility has allowed numerous funded projects from academia, industry, and federal agencies to be conducted at CBB since 1996.

The CBB also maintains a GMP biomanufacturing facility for the fermentation and downstream processing of materials affiliated with phase 1 clinical trials. Products include antigenic proteins for vaccines, biotherapeutics, recombinant reagents and other ancillary products. The CBB’s GMP facility operates 30- and 100-liter fermentors in conjunction with an AKTA Pilot downstream purification unit. The resulting bulk products can be further processed by our collaborators at the University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals (UIP) manufacturing facility. 

This website provides a glimpse at the CBB, including participating faculty participants, student programs, the Center’s microbial bioprocessing facility and information related to the CBB’s commitment to enhance the bioeconomy of the State and the Nation through efforts directed at improving success rates of early-stage start-up companies and preparing students for non-academic careers in biotech.

We encourage you to peruse the website, whether your interests are academic in nature or require confidential contractual agreements. Feel free to contact us directly, talk to a faculty member whose research may be of interest to you and visit Iowa City to attend our annual conference or just to visit our biomanufacturing facility.

Lastly, we hope this website reflects the enthusiasm of the Biocats, as well as our superlative facilities and the significant talents of our staff, students, and faculty.

Mark A. Arnold, Director of the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing