SIMB announces the 2022 Board of Directors election results

Posted 4/22/22 by . Filed under Featured News, News and Updates.

Fairfax, VA (April 22, 2022) – The 2022 SIMB Election for positions on the Board of Directors concluded on March 31, and the votes have been tallied. Thank you to each and every member who participated in this year’s election—as a candidate or as a voter. Your engagement is vital to ensuring SIMB leadership continually reflects the needs and priorities of the community.

With that in mind, let’s meet our future leaders!

Please welcome and congratulate the newest members of the SIMB Board of Directors: Michael Resch, President-Elect; Adam Guss, Director; and Brian Pfleger, Director!

Michael, Adam, and Brian will start their terms at this year’s Annual Meeting held in San Francisco, CA, August 7-10. But you don’t have to wait until then to get to know them! Read more about each of them below.

Michael Resch president-elect

President-Elect, Michael Resch

“I earned my PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Colorado State University working on protein-DNA interactions in chromatin. I began my professional career at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in 2008 working on projects funded by industrial partnerships and the Department of Energy. My research focus now spans from lignocellulosic feedstock processing and conversion, CO2 conversion into fuels and chemicals, low carbon ammonia production and other technologies to enable technologies for a circular carbon economy. At NREL I also contribute to Business Development activities across technologies to engage industrial collaborations from bench to pilot scale.

“I have been a member of SIMB since 2008, a member of American Chemical Society and have served on the Journal of Biological Chemistry Editorial Board since 2012. I have enjoyed contributing to the Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals and SIMB Annual Meetings as a session convener/chair, an invited speaker, a member of the SIMB Annual Meeting Biocatalysts Program and membership committee and from 2017 to 2020 I served as a member of the SIMB Board of Directors.

“As an SIMB Board Member, we worked to improve the conference experience for sponsors, organizers, and attendees by updating the online registration system and initiating a more user-friendly smart phone program viewer. We also organized the meeting structures for consistency into annual meetings and specialty meetings.

“As President of SIMB, I will be dedicated to keeping SIMB meetings and publications subscribed by high impact academic and industrial science. I would also like to keep the meetings programs fun and flexible to allow meeting organizers to integrate novel scientific topics and encourage young investigators to organize sessions alongside scientific pioneers. As President I will also work to keep the fiscal viability of the society strong. All of this is in the hope to enable an atmosphere where international, academic, industrial and government stakeholders can develop a well-rounded SIMB with diverse viewpoints.”

Adam Gus director

Director, Adam Guss

“I am a Genetic and Metabolic Engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. I earned my PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign in the lab of Bill Metcalf, followed by postdoctoral positions at Harvard University with Colleen Cavanaugh and Dartmouth College with Lee Lynd. I have been at ORNL for 11 years, and my research group focuses on the development of genetic tools for non-model microbes and the application of those tools for metabolic engineering to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable (lignocellulose) or waste (plastics) feedstocks. I am passionate about academic/government/industry collaborations to develop technologies that bring a positive impact to society.

“I have been involved in SIMB conferences for over a decade, including as a speaker, session convener, and as part of the Program Committee for the Biocatalysis track (2015) and the Metabolic Engineering track (2016-2018). In 2020, I was scheduled to be the Program Chair for the SIMB Annual Meeting, which was cancelled due to the pandemic, and I returned the next year to organize the 2021 Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.

“As a member of the Board of Directors, my goal will first be to help the Society maintain our excellent reputation for promoting applied science and bringing together the industrial microbiology community. Extending this, I would like to see the Society do more to facilitate collaborations and knowledge transfer between academia and industry. I am also an advocate for increasing diversity, equity and inclusion within the Society. A critical component of this will be increasing participation in SIMB by early career researchers, including undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers and facilitating networking and career mentoring, helping to create the next generation of industrial microbiologists. SIMB plays a critical role in industrial microbiology, and I am excited for the opportunity to serve our community.”

Brian Pfleger director

Director, Brian Pfleger

Brian Pfleger is the Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a courtesy appointment in the Microbiology Doctoral Training Program. Brian received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley. At UW-Madison, Brian teaches two biochemical engineering courses (lecture and lab) and has trained over 150 undergraduate and high-school researchers with the basics of industrial biotechnology. Many of these individuals have gone onto graduate school and/or careers in biotechnology.

Brian’s research group uses systems and synthetic biology approaches to develop biocatalysts for production of small molecules, especially oleochemicals. Brian’s group studies common microbes (E. coli and S. cerevisiae) and has helped domesticate non-model microbes (cyanobacteria, P. putida, Y. lipolytica) for use as industrial biocatalysts. Brian’s group has partnered with industrial microbiology companies, including Corteva and LanzaTech, on research projects. His group is a part of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation, DOE-funded bioenergy research centers.

Brian’s research has been recognized with young investigator awards from the Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 3M, NSF (CAREER), DOE (Early Career), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR-YIP), Biotechnology and Bioengineering (Daniel IC Wang Award), the American Chemical Society BIOT Division (2018 YI Award), and Purdue University (Mellichamp lectureship). Brian also received the Benjamin Smith Reynolds teaching award from the UW-Madison College of Engineering for his efforts to introduce undergraduates to biotechnology.

Brian has been active in SIMB since he was a graduate student. The Society is a personal favorite because of its ability to blend metabolic engineering, natural product, and biocatalysis (Brian’s scientific interests) research all in one place. Brian appreciates meetings organized by SIMB for the high quality of research talks, interactions with younger scientists at poster sessions, and opportunities to network with industry leaders and vendors. Brian has served SIMB as a speaker, poster presenter, poster judge, session chair, and member of the Metabolic Engineering Steering Committee (chaired in 2014). Brian is excited by the chance to provide additional leadership to the society in order to ensure SIMB continues to provide a leading forum for developing careers and disseminating new knowledge in the fields of industrial microbiology and biotechnology.

About SIMB
The Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) is a nonprofit, international association dedicated to the advancement of microbiological sciences, especially as they apply to industrial products, biotechnology, materials, and processes. Founded in 1949, SIMB promotes the exchange of scientific information through its meetings and publications, and serves as liaison among the specialized fields of microbiology. Membership in the Society is extended to all scientists and companies in the general field of microbiology.

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