The author: Tjita Veny (徐溶佩) & Ru-Ting Yang (楊如婷)
Being a professor in both Institute of Biotechnology (IOB) and Institute of Food Sciences and
Technology (FST) at National Taiwan University, Prof Cheng proofs his doubtlessly research
experiences in the areas of microbial bioprocessing, fermentation and biotechnology. His
laboratory currently focusing on four major topics which are bioactivity of medical mushroom,
Wine making and brewing, Development of Senior’s Food, and Biotechnology.
Based on his topics, one of the main goals of his research is to apply benefits of fermentation
products and its derivatives to human life. For instance, an endemic species of Lingzhi in
Taiwan named Ganoderma formosanum can provide bioactive metabolites product for
potential skin lightening. His laboratory not only producing the fermentation product such as
alcoholic beverages, but also performed strain development including microbial genetic
engineering and used novel bioreactors model to achieve higher production efficiency. The
utilization of human intestinal bacteria for antidiabetic agents, immune system modulation
agents, cholesterol-reducing agents, and anticancer agents also done by analyzing the gene and
protein expressions. Furthermore, efforts towards the development of healthy foods with high
nutrition value are noticed as a form of concern for increasing senior population in Taiwan.
Production of biomaterials such as bacterial cellulose (BC) also becoming one of his laboratory
research due its pure forms have strong mechanical properties with high water adsorption
capabilities and biocompatible which is potential interest for skin regeneration and wound
healing applications. Last but not least, his laboratory also performed the cell/enzyme
immobilization by using some food wastes as the carriers and verifying the successful enzyme
immobilization with some instruments, such as ESCA, SEM, and HPLC.
To do research is like to dig into problems no one has ever solved before so the pressure is
always there, one failed experiment is one step closer to the results. Hence, Prof Cheng
suggested that it is best to make decision based on your own interest and not following others.
Before choosing a research topic, student should keep their options opened and do a very
careful research of the professor field as well as specialty, to see whether it really suits the
student personally. He also mentioned that research is only one part of life, therefore we have
to know how to have fun. The reason why Prof Cheng stays in academic is because of his
personality, he enjoys get along and interacting with his students. He always supports his
students to do their best even asks his students to equal or surpass his/her advisor. Moreover,
he can keep good interact with industry, such as having industry visits, banquet, and invites
experienced speaker to have seminars.