Behie, Dr. Leo A.

1998 Winner: Outstanding Leadership In Alberta Technology

Research From Animal Biology To Reactor Technology

The innovative research of Dr. Behie is unusual in that it applies the basic principles of chemical reaction engineering to both the animal cell biotechnology field and the energy field. This includes the large scale production of mammalian neural-brain stem cells, therapeutic proteins from genetically engineered animal cells, and the development of a new pyrolysis process for the upgrading of Canadian heavy oils.

Brand New Advances

Dr. Behie’s innovation in biotechnology include, for the first time worldwide, the development of large scale bioreactor protocols for the production of mammalian neural stem cells to be used for transplantation into the brain to treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease. In addition, a completely new and highly productive gene expression system has been developed to produce therapeutic proteins from transformed insect cells allowing drug companies higher production levels not previously achievable.

Multidisciplinary Work

In the energy field, Dr. Behie has developed a new reactor technology for the pyrolytic upgrading of Canadian heavy oils at much higher yields compared to conventional technologies presently in use. Additionally, Dr. Behie has successfully applied his chemical reaction expertise to natural gas processing, developing new operational scenarios for Claus plants resulting in significant reductions in sulfur emissions at reasonable costs to natural gas producers in Alberta.