Dr. Niall Barron

Position & Role in STACCATO

Niall Barron is a Principal Investigator at NIBRT and Professor of Biochemical Engineering in the School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering in University College Dublin, Ireland. Main supervisor of ESR2, Co-supervisor of ESR1, ESR3 and ESR6.


My groups’ research interests focus on targeted genetic engineering strategies to improve or control the production of recombinant therapeutic proteins from Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. Typically this involves profiling of miRNA, mRNA and protein expression and subsequent analysis and integration of these datasets with a view to identifying engineering targets to improve CHO cell phenotypes relevant to the Biopharmaceutical industry. We are interested in developing advanced recombinant DNA engineering strategies for improved phenotypic stability and selection of producer lines. This includes methods for targeted genome modification (using viruses and CRISPR-Cas9 approaches) and directed evolution.

Key Publications

Kelly PS, Miguez AA, Alves C, Barron N. 2018. From media to mitochondria–rewiring cellular energy metabolism of Chinese hamster ovary cells for the enhanced production of biopharmaceuticals. Opin. Chem. Eng 22, 71-80.

Kellner K, Solanki A, Amann T, Lao N, Barron N. 2018. Targeting miRNAs with CRISPR/Cas9 to Improve Recombinant Protein Production of CHO Cells. Methods Mol Biol. 1850:221-235.

Griffith A, Kelly PS, Vencken S, Lao N, Greene CM, Clynes M, Barron N. miR-CATCH identifies biologically active miRNA regulators of the pro-survival gene XIAP in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Biotechnol J. Oct 4. [DOI: 10.1002/biot.201700299].

Kelly PS, Clarke C, Costello A, Monger C, Meiller J, Dhiman H, Borth N, Betenbaugh MJ, Clynes M, Barron N. Ultra-deep next generation mitochondrial genome sequencing reveals widespread heteroplasmy in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Metab Eng. 41:11-22.

Costello A, Lao N, Clynes M, Barron N. Conditional Knockdown of Endogenous MicroRNAs in CHO Cells Using TET-ON-SanDI Sponge Vectors. Methods Mol Biol. 1603:87-100.

Kelly P, Breen L, Gallagher C, Kelly S, Henry M, Lao N, Meleady P, O’Gorman D, Clynes M, Barron N. 2015. Re‐programming CHO cell metabolism using miR‐23 tips the balance towards a highly productive phenotype. Biotech J. 10(7):1029-40.

Sanchez N, Kelly P, Gallagher C, Lao NT, Clarke C, Clynes M, Barron N. 2014. CHO cell culture longevity and recombinant protein yield are enhanced by depletion of miR‐7 activity via sponge decoy vectors. Biotechnology Journal, 9, 3, pp396-404.