Prof. Niall Barron

Prof. Niall Barron

NIBRT Principal Investigator

National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training

Professional background: Niall Barron was appointed NIBRT Principal Investigator and Professor of Biochemical Engineering in the School of Chemical and Bioprocessing Engineering, University College Dublin (UCD) in 2017. His group’s research interests focus on targeted genetic engineering strategies to improve or control the production of recombinant therapeutic proteins from Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. His group looks at developing advanced recombinant DNA engineering strategies for improved phenotypic stability and selection of producer lines. This includes methods for targeted genome modification (using viruses and CRISPR-Cas9 approaches) and directed evolution. He obtained his B.A.(Mod) in Microbiology from Trinity College Dublin and Ph.D. in Applied Microbiology/Biochemistry from the University of Ulster in 1997, where he worked on degradation of lignocellulosic substrates by fungal enzymes ethanol production by microorganisms. He then spent three years in Bert O’Malley’s lab at Baylor College of Medicine (USA) as a postdoctoral scientist working on genome engineering strategies to study nuclear steroid receptor function. He returned to Ireland to work on stem cell differentiation at the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) in DCU and was appointed to academic staff in 2014. While at the NICB he was instrumental in growing the animal cell engineering group with particular emphasis on the production of recombinant therapeutic proteins from mammalian cell lines and became Centre Director in 2015. Niall is currently treasurer and executive committee member of ESACT, the European Society for Animal Cell Technology, and Senior Reviews Editor of the journal Biotechnology Letters.

Selected publications:

  • N. Lao, N. Barron. Enhancing recombinant protein and viral vector production in mammalian cells by targeting the YTHDF readers of N6-methyladenosine in mRNA, Biotechnology Journal, 18, 4, 2200451 (2023).
  • L. Bryan, M. Henry, N. Barron, C. Gallagher, R. M. Kelly, C. C. Frye, M. D. Osborne, M. Clynes, P. Meleady. Differential expression of miRNAs and functional role of mir-200a in high and low productivity CHO cells expressing an Fc fusion protein, Biotechnology Letters, 43, 1551-1563 (2021).
  • I. Tzani, N. Herrmann, S. Carillo, C. A. Spargo, R. Hagan, N. Barron, J. Bones, W. S. Dillmore, C. Clarke. Tracing production instability in a clonally derived CHO cell line using single-cell transcriptomics, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 118, 5, 2016-2030 (2021).