Dr. Jay Keasling discusses the promise of biological systems to create carbon-neutral products for a range of applications, including fuels, chemicals and drugs. Dr. Keasling discusses the application of these principles to the development of a microbial platform for the synthesis of artemisinic acid, which has helped stabilize global supply of this anti-malarial drug. He also discusses additional applications of these techniques to fuel production, and discusses some of the current challenges and possible solutions facing the metabolic engineering community.
Speaker Biography: Jay Keasling is a Professor of Chemical engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, an Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and also chief executive officer of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBIE). He received his PhD in Bernhard Palsson’s lab at University of Michigan, and was a post-doc with Arthur Kornberg at Stanford University. The Keasling lab focuses on the bioengineering of microorganisms, to enhance biofuel extraction from plant biomass and improve environmental clean-up strategies. Of Dr. Keasling’s numerous honors, his most recent notable awards include the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment (2012), the George Washington Carver Award (2013), and the ENI Renewable Energy Prize (2014). Dr Keasling was also elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2014.