The Biocatalysis sessions of SIMB cover the fundamental and applied science of enzyme characterization, design, improvement, biomass conversion, and view the microbe as a catalyst for industrial applications. Topics cover protein structural biology, computational modeling, biochemical lignocellulosic conversion, P450s, enzymes from extremophiles, and microbial conversion in native and engineered pathways. Biocatalysis is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly practice and its industrial application can reduce the cost compared to strictly thermochemical processes as the result of higher selectivity and diverse condition optima, while reducing the reaction time, production costs and industrial waste. This topic area will focus on current success and future outlooks for biocatalysis applications in the production of various goods ranging from conventional metabolites, proteins, food, drugs, fuels and industrial chemicals.
Fermentation & Cell Culture
The Metabolic Engineering sessions of SIMB cover the fundamental approaches, tools, and applications associated with strain engineering for fuels and chemicals production. These sessions are designed to span the gamut from emerging areas including synthetic biology and non-conventional organisms to industrial demonstrations of mature technologies leading to saleable products. Demonstrations of applied metabolic engineering approaches for the rewiring of cellular organisms to new chemicals and bioproducts are central themes within this area.
The Natural Products sessions of SIMB cover basic and applied science surrounding natural products from biological sources. Subject matter includes enzymology, biochemistry, genomics, and ecology within natural product research. This program area specifically focuses on natural products from plant, microbial, and eukaryotic sources in addition to engineering-biology applications of biosynthesis. Natural products continue to serve as an important source of chemical diversity, only a fraction of which has been effectively explored using cultivation-dependent approaches.
This year’s Session includes a diverse roster of speakers as of this printing: (a) a representative from the Women in Bio’s Boardroom Ready program will present on effective networking strategies, (b) Virginia (Jill) Teige will talk about having a disability while working in the Sciences, and neurodiversity, and (c) Brian Burt will discuss the experience of graduate students of color and his research related to persistence and retention. Other potential speakers have been contacted to complete the session. After the presentations, a discussion panel will be open for the attendees to interact with the speakers and the SIMB Diversity Committee.