Dr Zoltán Kis
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Lecturer (Assistant Professor)
Full contact details
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
I joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, at The University of Sheffield as a Lecturer in September 2021. Prior to this, from January 2018, I was a Research Associate in the Future Vaccine Manufacturing Hub at the Sargent Centre for Process Systems Engineering (CPSE), Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London (ICL), UK, working with Prof. Nilay Shah and Prof. Cleo Kontoravdi. Before that, I was a Research Associate at the Institute for Integrated Economic Research (IIER, UK) think-tank and a Visiting Academic at CPSE at ICL (2015 – 2017). I completed my Ph.D. in the Department of Bioengineering, ICL, in 2015. I obtained an MSc in Applied Biotechnology from Uppsala University, Sweden in 2011 and graduated with a B.Eng. in Chemical with Biochemical Engineering from Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania in 2009.
I am an expert in mRNA vaccine production modelling for quality by design and techno-economic analysis. I am regularly invited to speak at scientific and industry conferences, to advise policy experts, non-governmental organisations, and companies. I am also frequently interviewed for written news/blog articles, podcasts, radio and TV programs on topics related to COVID-19 mRNA vaccine production. I have contributed to receiving funding from EPSRC/UKRI (EP/V01479X/1; £445,000) for COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 vaccine manufacturing and supply chain optimisation, and from the Wellcome Trust Innovator Awards (220503/Z/20/Z; £727,458) for developing a process for live-attenuated whole parasite malaria vaccine production.
- Research interests
Our exciting research aims to innovate RNA vaccine and therapeutic production processes. This will enable the rapid manufacturing of RNA vaccines and therapeutics at high volumes, low costs and high quality against a wide range of diseases. This will be achieved by developing and synergising a set of physical and digital technologies integrated into the Quality by Digital Design framework and based on techno-economic considerations. The obtained models will enhance both the development and operation of the RNA production processes.
The RNA vaccine platform technology has been successfully used to develop COVID-19 vaccines at record speeds. However, the RNA vaccine production volumes and rates can be further increased, while reducing costs and maintaining consistently high product quality. In addition, RNA vaccines are produced based on a transformative platform technology, meaning that the same manufacturing infrastructure can be used to produce vaccines and therapeutics against a wide range of diseases. Therefore, it is anticipated that the demand for RNA vaccine production technologies will substantially increase and the physical processes and digital tools developed in our group are projected to be widely adopted.
Key research areas include:
- Development, digitisation and innovation of physical processes for the production of RNA vaccines, RNA therapeutics and other biopharmaceuticals
- Techno-economic modelling for reducing the costs, increasing production rates and production volumes of RNA vaccines, RNA therapeutics and other biopharmaceuticals
- Quality by Digital Design for consistently ensuring product quality, support scale-up, technology transfer, and for accelerating the regulatory approval process.
- Quality by Design for enabling RNA platform production processes. Trends in Biotechnology. View this article in WRRO
- Pandemic-response adenoviral vector and RNA vaccine manufacturing. npj Vaccines, 7(1).
- Stability modelling of mRNA vaccine quality based on temperature monitoring throughout the distribution chain. Pharmaceutics, 14(2).
- Model-based planning and delivery of mass vaccination campaigns against infectious disease: application to the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Vaccines, 9(12). View this article in WRRO
- Quality by design modelling to support rapid RNA vaccine production against emerging infectious diseases. npj Vaccines, 6(1). View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Enhancing vaccine platforms : computational models accelerate development, manufacturing, and distribution. BioProcess International.
- Resources, production scales and time required for producing RNA vaccines for the global pandemic demand. Vaccines, 9(1). View this article in WRRO
- Rapid development and deployment of high‐volume vaccines for pandemic response. Journal of Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, 2(3). View this article in WRRO
- A model‐based quantification of the impact of new manufacturing technologies on developing country vaccine supply chain performance : a Kenyan case study. Journal of Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, 1(3). View this article in WRRO
- Emerging technologies for low‐cost, rapid vaccine manufacture. Biotechnology Journal, 14(1). View this article in WRRO
- Framework for WASH sector data improvements in data-poor environments, applied to Accra, Ghana. Water, 10(9). View this article in WRRO
- Electricity generation technologies: Comparison of materials use, energy return on investment, jobs creation and CO2 emissions reduction. Energy Policy, 120, 144-157. View this article in WRRO
- Preclinical testing of an oncolytic parvovirus in Ewing sarcoma : protoparvovirus H-1 induces apoptosis and lytic infection in vitro but fails to improve survival in vivo. Viruses, 10(6). View this article in WRRO
- Preclinical testing of an oncolytic parvovirus : standard protoparvovirus H-1PV efficiently induces osteosarcoma cell lysis in vitro. Viruses, 9(10). View this article in WRRO
- Development of a synthetic gene network to modulate gene expression by mechanical forces. Scientific Reports, 6(1). View this article in WRRO
- Comparison between direct and reverse electroporation of cells in situ: a simulation study. Physiological Reports, 4(6), e12673-e12673. View this article in WRRO
- Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 12(106), 20141000-20141000. View this article in WRRO
- A novel high-throughput platform for siRNA transfection of primary mammalian cells. Atherosclerosis, 237(2), e14-e14.
- Systems and synthetic biology of the vessel wall. FEBS Letters, 586(15), 2164-2170. View this article in WRRO
- Computational investigations on the electronic structure and reactivity of thiourea dioxide: sulfoxylate formation, tautomerism and dioxygen liberation. Journal of Sulfur Chemistry, 31(1), 27-39.
- The electronic structure of biologically relevant Fe(0) systems. International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, NA-NA.
- A new route to carbon monoxide adducts of heme proteins. Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines, 12(10), 1096-1099.
- ‘Super-reduced’ iron under physiologically-relevant conditions. Dalton Trans., 39(6), 1464-1466.