Debbie Yaver to receive BIO’s Inaugural Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership

Posted 11/25/14 by . Filed under Featured News, News and Updates.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has announced that Dr. Debbie Yaver will be presented with the 2014 BIO Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology at the 2014 BIO Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy, which will take place 7-9 December in San Diego. Dr. Yaver will deliver a brief address at the conference.

More than twenty female leaders in industrial biotechnology were nominated for the award, which honors the legacy of Rosalind Franklin, who aided in the expansion of biotechnology and helped pave the way for women in the field.

Dr. Yaver’s accomplishments and dedication stood out to the Rosalind Franklin Award Selection Committee, who selected her as the inaugural recipient. “Dr. Yaver’s work and leadership in engineering industrial microorganisms embodies the spirit of Rosalind Franklin and her pioneering efforts,” said Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President at BIO.

Dr. Debbie Yaver
Dr. Yaver received her Bachelor’s degree in Bacteriology from the University of California-Davis. After working for two years on oil field microbiology at SRI International, Dr. Yaver returned to UC-Davis where she earned her PhD in Microbiology. Her dissertation research focused on the analysis of the in vivo function of 7S RNA in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. Dr. Yaver then conducted her postdoctoral research at UC-Davis, where she studied the role of the vacuolar ATPase in protein sorting.

Following her post-doctoral education, Dr. Yaver accepted a position as a Research Scientist in the Novo Nordisk enzyme division, the predecessor of what is now Novozymes. For over twenty-two years, Dr. Yaver has made extraordinary scientific contributions to Novozymes’ fundamental knowledge and expertise in gene expression technology in bacterial and fungal systems.

Currently, Dr. Yaver is the Director of Expression Technology, Genomics and Bioinformatics at Novozymes research center in Davis, California. Her research departments focus on engineering microbial strains for production of enzymes, other proteins and small molecules as well as extensive genomics and bioinformatics. Dr. Yaver is an author on many scientific publications in top-line peer-reviewed journals. Her vision and passion for industrial biotechnology is reflected by the fact that she is an inventor on nearly forty issued patents. Dr. Yaver truly leads by example and her success is a strong reflection of the inspiration and mentorship she provides to her colleagues.

Dr. Yaver has been active in SIMB for many years. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors and is chairing a SIMB Presidential Committee on Strategic Planning. She has been a speaker at as well as Chair of sessions at SIMB annual meetings. She has served on the Annual Meeting Program Committee for the Biocatalysis track and on the Organizing Committee for SIMB’s 2012 Recent Advances in Microbial Control meeting.

Dr. Yaver also serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing at University of Iowa. She has remained active at UC-Davis and for several years has taught a graduate level seminar on industrial biotechnology from discovery to product, which is part of the UC-Davis Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology program. Dr. Yaver is also a member of the Executive Committee for the UC-Davis NIH Training Grant for Biomolecular Technology and the Advisory Committee of the UC-Davis CREATE-IGERT Training program.

About the Rosalind Franklin Award
Rosalind Franklin was instrumental in the discovery and our greater understanding of the molecular structure of DNA. Through Rosalind Franklin’s use of X-ray diffraction images, the true double helix structure of DNA was discovered. It was the help of Franklin’s images and writings that eventually led Francis Crick and James Watson to release their 1953 model of the structure of DNA. Though often overlooked, Rosalind Franklin’s critical work and discovery in the field has allowed the expansive growth of the biotechnology industry to become what it is today.

With the Rosalind Franklin Award BIO intends to not only honor Rosalind Franklin’s legacy, but also to honor those women who have also shown exemplary leadership and led the way through previously uncharted territory. The award is presented to a pioneering woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the bio-based economy and biotech innovation.

With the support of the Rosalind Franklin Society, BIO will present Dr. Yaver with the Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology during the Tuesday, 9 December Lunch Plenary at BIO’s 9th Annual Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy. The 2014 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotech & Bioenergy will be held 7-9 December 2014 in San Diego, California at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter.

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