Susanne Gräslund did her doctoral training in Biotechnology at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. After her dissertation in 2002 she worked for three years at Biovitrum AB in the Target Expression & Purification section. In March 2005, Susanne joined the newly started Structural Genomics Consortium group in Stockholm as head of the Biotechnology team. She was then recruited to the SGC Toronto site as Principal Investigator for the Biotechnology team in September 2011.
The Biotechnology team is responsible for running a high-throughput generic protein production process and constantly improving the core methodology used at SGC to produce high-quality proteins. The group performs high-throughput cloning into a range of vectors for expression in different hosts and with different tags. Small-scale expression screening is used to identify promising candidates for scale-up production. Large-scale cultivation of bacteria is performed in LEX systems whereas shake flasks or the Wave Bioreactor are used for insect or mammalian cells. The generic protein purification method usually includes a two-step purification protocol (IMAC+GF) on ÄKTA Xpress. Purity and quality of the proteins is analysed by SDS-PAGE and Mass spectrometry is used to verify protein identity and identify possible inhomogeneities or modifications.
The Toronto Biotech team in also plays a key role in the SGC project to produce renewable antibodies to target proteins involved in Epigenetic signalling. The project is carried out in collaboration with Life Technologies and several lab groups that perform binder selections and cell-based validation experiments. The Biotech team tasks include cloning of expression constructs in a specific expression vector for antigen production, production of in vivo biotinylated antigens, re-cloning of selected binder candidates, production of in vivo biotinylated binder candidates for secondary validation, re-cloning of validated binders into IgG conversion vectors, production of IgG-like molecules using transient expression in mammalian cells and purification of IgG-like molecules.