CAR-T therapies have shown tremendous clinical potential. However, the manufacturing remains challenging due to the lack of control and automation as well as process and cell product characterization during process development and manufacturing stages. In this edition of Experts’ Insights in Advanced Therapies, Dr. Qasim Rafiq, Associate Professor of Bioprocessing Engineering at UCL shares his insights from the development of an automated CAR-T expansion process.

Read to find out about:

  • Scalable stirred-tank CAR-T cell expansion
  • Optimizing cell product quality through process insight
  • The future of CAR-T manufacturing to reduce batch variation, batch failure, and process cost


Qasim Rafiq, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

University College London

Dr. Qasim Rafiq joined University College London in 2017 as an Associate Professor in Cell and Gene Therapy Bioprocess Engineering in the Department of Biochemical Engineering. He is a multidisciplinary engineer working at the life science, engineering, and commercial interfaces with a research focus on bioprocessing, automation, and biomanufacturing of cell and gene therapies. He currently leads a research portfolio of > £5M as Principal Investigator and leads a dynamic interdisciplinary research group that collaborates internationally with high-caliber academic institutions, industry partners, and leading clinicians. He is also Programme Director of the new Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies M.Sc. program.

Qasim gained his Ph.D. in Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing from Loughborough University, UK, whilst collaborating with Lonza. Qasim is both a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) and sits on multiple scientific and engineering committees including the IChemE Biochemical Engineering Subject Interest Group, British Standards Institute Biotechnology Committee, and the BIA’s Cell and Gene Therapy Advisory Committee.

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