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MIT Professional Education

Downstream Processing

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Next dates

Jul 22—26
5 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
USD 4900
USD 980 per day


Continuing discoveries in molecular biology, genetics, and process science provide the foundation for new and improved processes and products in today's biochemical process industry. The production of therapeutic proteins and other biologics, made possible by discoveries in biotechnology, generated sales exceeding $300 billion in 2016.

Biotechnology is a cornerstone for improvement and expansion of the biochemical process industry for production of enzymes, diagnostics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and foods. Continued introduction of new technology necessitates innovation in process development scale-up and design as manufacturing lies on the critical path between science and the consumer.

An integral and cost-intensive part of these processes is associated with downstream processing for product isolation and purification. This course aims to help participants design new, as well as to improve existing, biological manufacturing for downstream processes.

Takeways from this course include:

  • Understanding the fundamentals of downstream processing for biochemical product recovery.
  • Assessing the impact of change on overall process performance.
  • Examining traditional unit operations, as well as new concepts and emerging technologies that are likely to benefit biochemical product recovery in the future.
  • Understanding analytical and process validation issues that are critical to successful manufacturing.
  • Strategies for biochemical process analysis and synthesis.
  • Design and operation of unit processes with centrifugation, chromatography, filtration, and membrane processes
  • Introduction to continuous processing, process economics, process synthesis and simulation, and regulatory issues and validation.

PROGRAM OUTLINE The course begins with an introduction to the challenges in recovery of biologic products made by fermentation, cell culture, and enzyme technology. Subsequent topics include:

  • Process design: The first steps in downstream processing
  • Biochemical Processing: Overview
  • Virus clearance in cell culture-based therapeutics
  • Centrifugation
  • Chromatography
  • Quality: Beyond pass or fail
  • Filtration fundamentals
  • Extraction case study
  • Monoclonal Antibody case study
  • Process design & economics
  • Process validation
  • Quality by Design
  • Filtration application
  • Future technologies in Bioprocessing

The class is divided into teams early in the week to work as a team on a project that illustrates the concepts from the lectures.

Who should attend

The course covers fundamental principles of downstream processing with practical examples and case studies to illustrate the problems and solutions faced by the practitioner. It is intended to provide both insight into and an overview of downstream processing for individuals actively engaged in process research and development, as well as those who manage and innovate in the biochemical process industry. Scientists and engineers engaged in fermentation and cell culture development attend the course to better understand the context of the whole process. Attendees include:

  • Engineers and scientists interested in design, economics, validation optimization and scale-up of biochemical product recovery;
  • Protein biochemists and chemists involved in design and optimization of biologics recovery processes;
  • Managers responsible for biochemical process development;
  • Entrepreneurs, attorneys, and business leaders seeking an overview and insight into biochemical manufacturing.


Charles L. Cooney is Robert T. Haslam Professor Emeritus in the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering. Cooney obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree and PhD degree in Biochemical Engineering from MIT. After working brief...
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