James M. Piret


Office: MSL Building, 2185 East Mall, Room 207

Email: james.piret@ubc.ca

Research Summary

Bioprocessing, Biomedical, Bioreactor and Device Engineering, Bioprocess Optimization and Cell Therapy Biotechnology


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989, Sc.D.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986, S.M.

Harvard College, 1981, A.B.

Research interests + projects

Many recent developments in biological and medical research have greatly expanded the prospects for regenerative medicine. Cell-based therapies can provide improved treatments for major diseases such as cancer and diabetes. In collaboration with stem cell and immune cell biologists (Drs. Kieffer and Levings), we are investigating how to more efficiently optimize therapeutic cell bioprocesses. This includes optimizing the complex cytokine effects, as well as developing innovative devices, processes and data analytics technologies (Drs. Turner and Gopaluni). Mammalian cells are already widely used for the production of therapeutic proteins in the biotechnology industry. In collaboration with companies we are investigating cellular physiology and engineering approaches to better understand and accelerate the development of biotechnology production processes and cell processing devices. The group research topics range from engineering cells to bioprocess engineering. Our multidisciplinary, collaborative research projects and the many advantages of the Vancouver location provide an exceptional research environment. Our lab welcomes highly motivated applicants who are interested to pursue high-performance graduate or postdoctoral research.

Awards and honours

R.S. Jane Memorial Award, Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering , 2015

Cell Culture Engineering Award, Engineering Conferences International , 2012

Fellow, Chemical Institute of Canada  , 2004

UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowship  , 2002

UBC Killam Research Prize , 2000

Scholarly and professional activities + affiliations

Michael Smith Laboratories

School of Biomedical Engineering

Genome Science and Technology Graduate Program

Full publications list

Selected publications + presentations

Rangan S., Kamal S., Konorov S.O., Schulze H.G., Blades M.W., Turner R.F., Piret J.M., “Types of Cell Death and Apoptotic Stages in Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells Distinguished by Raman Spectroscopy”, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, 115:401–412, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1002/bit.26476

MacDonald K.N., Ivison S., Hippen K.L., Hoeppli R.E., Hall M., Zheng G., Dijke I.E., Freed D.H., Gandhi S., West L.J., Piret J.M., Blazar B.R., Levings M.K., “Cryopreservation timing is a critical process parameter in a thymic Treg cell therapy manufacturing protocol”, Cytotherapy, 21:1216-1233, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2019.10.011

Ghaffari N., Jardon M.A., Krahn N., Butler M., Kennard M., Turner R.F.B., Gopaluni B., Piret J.M., “Effects of cysteine, asparagine or glutamine limitations in CHO cell batch and fed-batch cultures”, Biotechnology Progress, 36:1-12, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/btpr.2946

Schulze H.G. Rangan S. Vardaki M.Z. Iworima D. Kieffer T. Blades M.W. Turner R.F. Piret J.M., “Augmented Two-Dimensional Correlation Spectroscopy for the Joint Analysis of Correlated Changes in Spectroscopic and Disparate Sources”, Applied Spectroscopy, 75:520-530, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003702820979331

Braasch K., Kryworuchko M., Piret J.M., “Autophagy-inducing Peptide Increases CHO Cell Monoclonal Antibody Production in Batch and Fed-batch Cultures”, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, 118:1876–1883, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1002/bit.27703