Bioprocessing, Biomedical, Bioreactor and Device Engineering, Bioprocess Optimization and Cell Therapy Biotechnology
Advisor, Chemical & Biological Engineering (CHBE) Program
Michael Smith Building 2185 East Mall, Room 207
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989, Sc.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986, S.M.
Harvard College, 1981, A.B.
Research Interests

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 multi-disciplinary, 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

  • MacDonald K.N., Piret J.M., Levings M.K., “Methods to Manufacture Regulatory T Cells for Cell Therapy”, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 197: 52–63, 2019.
  • Schulze H.G., Rangan S., Blades M.W., Piret J.M., Turner R.F.B., “Smoothing Raman spectra with contiguous single-channel fitting of Voigt distributions – an automated, high quality procedure”, Applied Spectroscopy, Applied Spectroscopy, 73:47–58, 2019.
  • 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.
  • Wallner K.. Pedroza R.G., Awotwe I., Piret J.M., Senior P.A., Shapiro A.M.J., McCabe C., “Stem cells and beta cell replacement therapy: a prospective health technology assessment study”, BMC Endocrine Disorders, 18:6 2018.
  • Schulze H.G, Rangan S, Piret J.M, Blades M.W., Turner R.F.B., “Developing Fully Automated Quality Control Methods for Preprocessing Raman Spectra of Biomedical and Biological Samples”, Applied Spectroscopy, 72: 1322-1340, 2018.
  • Hoesli C.A., Kiang R., Raghuram K., Pedroza G., Markwick K.E., Colantuoni A.M.R., Piret J.M., “Mammalian cell encapsulation in alginate beads using a simple stirred vessel”, J. Vis. Exp. 124: doi: 10.3791/55280, 2017.
  • Knapp D.J.H.F., Hammond C.A., Miller P.H., Rabu G.M., Beer P.A., Ricicova M., Lecault V., Da Costa D., VanInsberghe M., Cheung A.M., Pellacani D., Piret J, Hansen C., Eaves C.J., “Dissociation of survival, proliferation and state control in human hematopoietic stem cells”, Stem Cell Reports, 8:152-162, 2017.
  • Schulze H.G., Konorov S.O., Piret J.M., Blades M.W., Turner R.F., “Empirical Factors Affecting the Quality of Non-Negative Matrix Factorization of Mammalian Cell Raman Spectra”, Applied Spectroscopy, 71:2681-2691 2017.
  • Klionsky D.J., Abdelmohsen K., Abe A., et al., “Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy”, Autophagy, 12:1-222, 2016.
  • Konorov S.O., Schulze H.G., Gage B.K., Kieffer T.J., Piret J.M., Blades M.W., Turner R.F., “The Process Analytical Utility of Raman Microspectroscopy in the Directed Differentiation of Human Pancreatic Insulin-positive Cells”, Anal Chem., 87:10762-9, 2015.
  • Sikorski D., Caron N.J., VanInsberghe M., Zahn H., Eaves C.J., Piret J.M., Hansen C.L., “Clonal Analysis of Individual Human Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Patterns in Microfluidic Cultures” J. Biotechnol., 10:1546-1554 2015.
  • Bubela T., McCabe C., Archibald P., Atkins H., Bradshaw S.E., Kefalas P., Mujoomdar M., Packer C., Piret J., Raxworthy M., Soares M., Viswanathan S., “Bringing Regenerative Medicines to the Clinic: The Future for Regulation and Reimbursement”, Regen. Med.10:897–911, 2015.
  • Baylis, J.R., Yeon, J.H., Thomson, M.H., Kazerooni, A., Wang, X., St John, A.E., Lim, E.B., Chien, D. Lee. A, Zhang, J.Q., Piret, J.M., Machan, L.S., Burke, T.F., White, N.J., and Kastrup, C.J. “Self-fueled Particles that Transport Cargo Through Flowing Blood and Halt Hemorrhage” Science Advances,1:e1500379, 2015.
  • Chan M.T., Lim G.E., Yang Y.H.C., Alejandro E.U., Hoesli C., Piret J.M., Warnock G.L. and Johnson J.D., “Effects of insulin on human pancreatic cancer progression modeled in vitro” BMC Cancer, 14:814-826, 2014.
  • Nasseri S.S., Ghaffari N., Braasch K., Jardon M.A., Butler M., Kennard M., Gopaluni B., Piret J.M., “Increased CHO Cell Fed-Batch Monoclonal Antibody Production using the Autophagy Inhibitor 3-MA or Gradually Increasing Osmolality”, Biochemical Eng. J., 91:37–45, 2014.
  • Bruin J.E., Erener S., Vela J., Hu X., Johnson J.D., Kurata H.T., Lynn F.C., Piret J.M., Asadi A., Rezania A., Kieffer T., “Characterization of polyhormonal insulin-producing cells derived in vitro from human embryonic stem cells”, Stem Cell Research, 12:194-208, 2014.
  • Konorov, S. Schulze, G.H., Piret, J., Blades, M., Turner, R., “Label-free determination of the cell cycle phase in human embryonic stem cells by Raman microspectroscopy”, Anal. Chem., 85:8996-9002, 2013.
  • Caron N.J., Gage B.K., O’Connor M.D., Eaves C.J., Kieffer T.J., Piret J.M., “A Human Embryonic Stem Cell Line Adapted for High Throughput Screening”, Biotechnol. Bioeng., 110:2706–2716, 2013.
  • Schulze G.H., Konorov S., Piret, J., Blades, M., Turner, R., “Label-free imaging of mammalian cell nucleoli by Raman microspectroscopy”, Analyst, 138:3416–3423, 2013.
  • Sloma, I., Imren, S., Beer, P.A., Zhao, Y., Lecault, V., Leung, D., Raghuram, K., Brimacombe, C., Lambie, K., Piret, J., Hansen, C., Humphries, R.K., Eaves, C.J., “Ex Vivo Expansion of Normal and Chronic Myeloid Leukemic Stem Cells without Functional Alteration Using a NUP98HOXA10 Homeodomain Fusion Gene”, Leukemia, 27:159-169, 2013.
  • Kim D.Y., Chaudhry M.A., Kennard M.L., Jardon M.A., Braasch K., Butler M., Piret J.M., “Fed-Batch CHO Cell t-PA Production and Feed Glutamine Replacement to Reduce Ammonia Production”, Biotechnol. Prog., 29: 165–175, 2013.
  • Tan, Y., Konorov, S. O., Schulze, H. G., Piret J.M., Blades, M.W., Turner, R.F., “Comparative Study Using Raman Microspectroscopy Reveals Spectral Signatures of Human Induced Pluripotent Cells More Closely Resemble those from Human Embryonic Stem Cells than those from Differentiated Cells”, Analyst 137:4509-4515, 2012.
  • Hoesli C.A., Kiang R., Speck M., Mocinecová D., Donald C., Lacík I., Kieffer T.J., Piret J.M. “Reversal of diabetes by allogeneic insulin-producing cells encapsulated in alginate beads generated by emulsion and internal gelation”, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part B – Applied Biomaterials, 100B:1017–1028, 2012.
  • Jardon M.A., Sattha B., Braasch K., Leung A.O., Côté H.C.F., Butler M., Gorski S.M., Piret J.M., “Inhibition of Glutamine-Dependent Autophagy Increases t-PA Production in CHO Cell Fed-batch Processes”, Biotechnol. Bioeng., 109:1228–1238, 2012.
  • Konorov S., Jardon, M.A., Piret, J.M., Blades, M., Turner, R., “Raman microspectroscopy of live cells under autophagy-inducing conditions”, Analyst, 137(20):4662-4668, 2012
  • Schulze G.H., Konorov S., Okuda, K., Piret, J., Blades, M., Turner, R., “A volume-exclusion normalization procedure for quantitative Raman confocal microspectroscopy of immersed samples applied to human embryonic stem cells”, Applied Spectroscopy, 43:360–369, 2012.
  • Hoesli C.A., Johnson J.D., Piret J.M., “Purified Human Pancreatic Duct Cell Culture Conditions Defined by Serum-Free High-Content Growth Factor Screening”, PLoS ONE, 7(3): e33999, 2012.
  • Lecault, V., VanInsberghe, M., Sekulovic S., Mclaughlin, T., Jarandehei, A., Miller, M., Taghipour, F., Falconnet, D., White, A.K., Kent, D.G., Copley, M.R., Eaves, C.J., Humphries, R.K., Piret, J.M, Hansen, C.L. “High-Throughput Analysis of Single Hematopoietic Stem Cell Proliferation in Perfusion Microfluidic Cell Culture Arrays”. Nature Methods 8 :581-586. (2011)
  • White A.K., VanInsberghe M., Petriv O.I., Hamidi M., Sikorski D., Marra M.A., Piret J.M., Aparicio S., Hansen C.L., “High-throughput microfluidic single-cell RT-qPCR”, PNAS,108:1399-4004, 2011.
  • Sekulovic S., Gasparetto M., Lecault V., Hoesli C.A., Kent D.G., Rosten P., Wan A., Brookes C., Hansen C.L., Piret J.M., Smith C., Eaves C.J., and Humphries R.K., “Ontogeny stage-independent and high-level clonal expansion in-vitro of mouse hematopoietic stem cells stimulated by an engineered NUP98-HOX fusion transcription factor”, Blood, 118:4366-4376, 2011.
  • Konorov, S.O., Schulze, G.H., Piret, J.M., Blades, M.W., and Turner, R.F.B. “Evidence of marked glycogen variations in the characteristic Raman signatures of human embryonic stem cells”, J. Raman Spectroscopy, 42, 1135–1141, 2011.
  • Konorov, S. Schulze, G.H., Piret, J., Aparicio, S., Turner, R., Blades, M., “Raman microscopy of human embryonic stem cells exposed to heat and cold stress”, Applied Spectroscopy, 65:1380–1386, 2011.
  • Goudar, C.T., Piret J.M. and Konstantinov B. “Estimating Cell Specific Oxygen Uptake and Carbon dioxide Production Rates for Mammalian Cells in Perfusion Culture”, Biotechnol. Prog., 27:1347-1357, 2011.
  • Konorov, S. Schulze, G.H. Atkins, C., Piret, J., Aparicio, S., Turner, R., Blades, M., “Absolute quantification of intracellular glycogen content in human embryonic stem cells with Raman microspectroscopy”, Anal Chem., 83:6254-6258, 2011.
  • Konorov, S. Schulze, G.H., Piret, J., Aparicio, S., Turner, R., Blades, M., “Raman microscopy-based cytochemical investigations of potential niche-forming inhomogeneities present in human embryonic stem cell colonies”, Applied Spectroscopy, 65:1009-1016, 2011.
  • Szabat M., Kalynyak T.B., Lim G.E., Chu K.Y., Yang Y.H., Asadi A., Gage B.K., Ao Z., Warnock G.L., Piret J.M., Kieffer T.J., Johnson J.D., “Musashi expression in beta-cells coordinates insulin expression, apoptosis and proliferation in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress in diabetes”, Cell Death and Disease, 2:e232, 2011.
  • Szabat, M., Pourghaderi, P., Soukhatcheva, G., Verchere, C.B., Warnock, G.L., Piret, J.M., Johnson, J.D. “Kinetics and genomic profiling of adult human and mouse β-cell maturation”. Islets 3 :175-187. (2011)
  • Hoesli, C.A., Raghuram, K., Kiang, R. Mocinecová, D., Hu, X., Johnson, J.D., Lacík, I., Kieffer, T.J. and Piret, J.M. “Pancreatic Cell Immobilization in Alginate Beads Produced by Emulsion and Internal Gelation”. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 108 (2) :424-434. (2011)
  • Konorov, S.O., Schulze, G.H., Caron, N.J., Piret, J.M., Blades, M.W., and Turner, R.F.B. “Raman microspectroscopic evidence that dry-fixing preserves the temporal pattern of nonspecific differentiation in live human embryonic stem cells”. J. Raman Spectroscopy 82 :5020-5027. (2011)
CHBE 381 Bioprocess Engineering I
CHBE 560 Biological Engineering