ESR8: Nikolaus Virgolini

Host: B3 Instituto Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica, IBET / Supervisor: Prof. Paula Alves

Individual Project

Combining single-cell analysis with systems biology to fine-tune production of rAAV vectors in insect cells.


The focus of my research will lay on the improvement of the production process of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors in Sf-9 insect cells. Considering that I will combine molecular signatures of cells during rAAV production with metabolomics and fluxomics information to assist bioprocess optimization and to increase the knowledge of the underlying biological mechanisms.

Scientific Background

I started my academic training with a bachelor’s degree in “Food Science and Biotechnology” (2017) followed by a master’s program in “Biotechnology” (2019) from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU).

During my bachelor thesis I worked in the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology (BOKU), where we improved the production of Polyhydroxyalkanoats in Cupriavidus necator. During my master’s thesis internship, I joined Prof. Nicole Borth’s research group in the Department of Biotechnology of BOKU. Here, my focus lay in increasing the understanding of cellular responses involved in adaptation to external stimuli in CHO cells.

My PhD work within the European Industrial Doctorate program STACCATO will be carried out mostly at the Animal Cell Technology Unit of iBET, with secondments at University College Dublin and MeiraGTx.