Zsolt is Head of Protein Expression and Cell Engineering Laboratory (PROXENCELL) at the Center for Clinical Genomics and Personalised Medicine, University of Debrecen, in Hungary. Also, he is Coordinator and Execvutive Leader for several EU funded R&D projects, and a number of development projects for local Big Pharma companies targeting bioassay cell line development and biopharmaceuticals production, via UD-GenoMed MEDICAL GENOMIC TECHNOLOGIES, a university spin-off company. He is chief executive officer for INDEVION Biotech, a privately owned consulting and outsourcing company. As a molecular biotechnology development scientist, he also works on proprietary technologies and biotech products and services in the field of protein expression, monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins, cell engineering, functional genomics and epigenetics. Zsolt Keresztessy graduated as a biologist (BSc) and biotechnologist (MSc) from Lajos Kossuth University, Debrecen, Hungary (1992) and obtained his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology (1996) from the University Medical School of Debrecen, in the frame of a collaboration with the Medical School at Newcastle University, UK, where he was supported by Royal Society, British Council, and Soros Foundation fellowships. He was the holder of a NATO/Royal Society postdoctoral fellowship in the UK, and upon returning to Hungary, he held an Associate Professorship position (1998-2004) at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical University of Debrecen. He was later a holder of a Senior Lectureship position at ICaMB (Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, University of Newcastle), where he led protein engineering projects. He worked at Cambridge Center for Protein Engineering, MRC Center, Cambridge, UK, in Sir Alan Fersht’s lab in the field of directed molecular evolution. Also, he worked as a development scientist for ORLA Protein Technologies Ltd in the field of nanobiotechnology.

Scientific Data

Publication in peer-reviewed journals: 14, Cumulative impact factors:  45, No. of SCI citations: 209, US Patent Applications: 2


Major Research and R&D Projects


Current Projects – Coordinator and Executive Leader

Engineering cell lines for selective expression of cell surface receptor family members using targeted genome editing via multi-step TALEN-based cell line engineering (2012-2013)

Production development of  recombinant therapeutic moAb via genome engineering in CHO using a Meganuclease (2012)

Antigen expressing cell line development for bioassays via genome engineering using a Meganuclease (2011)

Epigenetics technology standardisation for clinical diagnostics with ChIP  process controls.

Development of monoclonal antibodies for ChIP applications (2010-2012)

Cytokine production development in mammalian cells (2010-2012)


Protein engineering, in vitro evolution, drug discovery, bionanotechnology (2002-2011)

Engineering and production development of recombinant proteins (cytokines, enzymes, gene regulators, etc) for research and therapy (CHO, HEK, INSECT, YEAST, BACTERIAL production).

Antibody engineering, epitope design, libraries, hybridoma technology, HTS screening, production in mammalian cell culture, automated purification and multi-characterisation.

Cell line engineering for protein production and bioassay development.

Technology development for functional genomics and epigenetics studies using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP).

Technology platform/assay development for biopharmaceutical discovery and development.

Development of nanodevices for drug targeting and delivery, and gene delivery – gene therapy – composite polymeric nanoparticles.

Fabrication of novel receptor proteins for bionanodevices via protein engineering – scaffold engineering, site-directed and random mutagenesis, and phage display selection.

In vitro molecular evolution of proteins for structural-functional analysis and the development of molecular tools for industrial and therapeutic applications.

Development of bioconjugation techniques for molecular erection on nanosurfaces using protein cross-linking enzymes.

For previous projects see




Targeted genome editing, genome engineering: Meganucleases and TALEs, KO,  KI, point mutations, gene corrections, gene fusions, gene tagging, promoter engineering. Multi-step genome engineering for complex cell line solutions for research, bioassays, and rotein production.

Cell line development and engineering: Cell transfections, flow cytometry, cell sorting, cell cloning, cell analysis, genomic sequencing (NGS) …reporters, effectors, producers

Cell-based assays: Toxicity, proliferation, cytokine bioassays, ADCC, ADCP, CDC …

Protein engineering: protein chemistry and biochemistry, protein structure and folding, enzyme kinetics and mechanism, protein characterisation, protein purification, protein structure characterisation, protein and peptide mass spectrometry, protein interactions,  immunochemistr, protein expression in bacteria, yeast, insect, and mammalian cells, computer-based molecular modelling, molecular dynamics simulations.

Antibody engineering: Therapeutic antibody development and production, Epitope mapping…

Directed molecular evolution: Random mutagenesis, EP-PCR, StEP-PCR, DNA Shuffling, protein phage display selection systems…

Protein production: E. coli, yeast, insect, mammalian (HEK, CHO, sf9, Rosetta, S. cerevisiae)

Bionanotechnology: engineering proteins for diagnostic chip devices, nanoparticle-based targeted drug delivery

Research tools (hands-on experience):

SDS-PAGE, 2D-PAGE, HPLC, FPLC, LC, GC, CE, SPR, Fluorescent spectroscopy, CD, NMR, ELISA, MALDI-MS, HPLC-MS/MS…

Silicon Graphics, Modeller, Quanta, Sybyl…


Cell culture, Bioreactors, Flow cytometry, Cell sorting

Chromatin Immunoprecipitation – sequencing (NGS)

Complex equipment operational knowledge :

HPLC, FPLC, Profinia, AKTA



AGILENT Bioanalyser…


NGS Roche GS Junior, TECAN Evo 150, MS Q-TRAP.