Craig van Dolleweerd

Craig van Dolleweerd

Senior Scientist


Using synthetic biology to generate innovative applications

I am a Senior Scientist in the Protein Science & Engineering (PSE) team within the Biotechnologies group. As a molecular biologist, I have worked on bacterial, plant and mammalian recombinant protein expression systems. I have expertise in the engineering and expression of antibodies and novel antibody formats, with a particular interest in using plants as a biotechnology platform for recombinant protein production. This work has led me into the field of synthetic biology, which uses principles of modularity and reusability to construct novel biological systems.

One of my significant contributions has been the delivery of a modular DNA assembly platform for synthetic biology (MIDAS) that offers a versatile and efficient method for constructing complex genetic circuits for the co-expression of multiple proteins, and the engineering of metabolic pathways for the production of high value secondary metabolites and commodity chemicals.

My work continues to focus on developing novel synthetic biology tools for efficient assembly of biomolecular systems that have applications in metabolic pathway engineering, immunology and other multi-protein systems.

By harnessing the power of synthetic biology, we can produce complex biological systems that have the potential to revolutionise the healthcare, agritech, energy and chemical industries and improve their sustainability and accessibility.

Areas of expertise
  • Synthetic biology
  • Modular DNA assembly
  • Multigene assembly
  • Metabolic pathway engineering
  • Recombinant protein expression and purification
  • Antibody engineering, expression and purification
  • Immunological techniques (ELISA, western blotting)
  • BSc (Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology), University of Auckland, NZ (1986)
  • MSc (Plant Molecular Biology), University of Auckland, NZ (1989)
  • PhD (Immunology) King's College London, UK (2002)
Selected publications
  • Modular DNA Assembly System. van Dolleweerd CJ, Parker EJ, Nicholson MJ Patent (2019) PCTA WO2019064242.
  • MIDAS: A Modular DNA Assembly System for Synthetic Biology. van Dolleweerd CJ, Kessans SA, Van de Bittner KC, Bustamante LY, Bundela R, Scott B, Nicholson MJ, Parker EJ. ACS Synth Biol. 2018 Apr 20;7(4):1018-1029.
  • Heterologous Biosynthesis of Nodulisporic Acid F. Van de Bittner KC, Nicholson MJ, Bustamante LY, Kessans SA, Ram A, van Dolleweerd CJ, Scott B, Parker EJ. J Am Chem Soc. 2018 Jan 17;140(2):582-585.
  • Molecular engineering and plant expression of an immunoglobulin heavy chain scaffold for delivery of a dengue vaccine candidate. Kim MY, Van Dolleweerd C, Copland A, Paul MJ, Hofmann S, Webster GR, Julik E, Ceballos-Olvera I, Reyes-Del Valle J, Yang MS, Jang YS, Reljic R, Ma JK. Plant Biotechnol J. 2017 Dec;15(12):1590-1601.
  • Engineering, expression in transgenic plants and characterisation of E559, a rabies virus-neutralising monoclonal antibody. van Dolleweerd CJ, Teh AY, Banyard AC, Both L, Lotter-Stark HC, Tsekoa T, Phahladira B, Shumba W, Chakauya E, Sabeta CT, Gruber C, Fooks AR, Chikwamba RK, Ma JK. J Infect Dis. 2014 Jul 15;210(2):200-208.
Popular Topics