Author Archive

Posted 10/4/11 by . Filed under RAFT IX.

David Glassner Dr. Glassner will be Keynote Speaker at SIM’s 9th annual Recent Advances in Fermentation Technology. RAFT IX will be held November 6-9 in Marco Island, FL. The meeting theme is “From Concept to Commercialization.” Learn more about RAFT IX.

Many organizations are pursuing the production of industrial biochemicals and fuels using synthetic biology to create magic bugs. However, there are very few examples of success in the industrial biochemical and fuels sector because success is driven by high efficiency, low cost and large scale which is not easily achieved. This contribution will provide insights on meeting the challenges in moving novel, recombinant fermentation technology from concept to commercialization using lactic acid and isobutanol as examples.

The key characteristics of each project are similar and start with the definition of a target product and process forming an economically attractive business opportunity. The business opportunity created by the new product allows the target performance characteristics for the new microorganism to be established from a process economic analysis. Both operating and capital cost for implementation are considered in establishing the microorganism performance targets. However, the performance target is not established by looking at microorganism literature but rather on establishing a low cost, highly efficient manufacturing process that may be equaled but not beaten from an economic standpoint.

After the performance targets are established, resources required to successfully develop the fermentative organism must be assembled. The resources are a combination of funding and technical capabilities. The technical capabilities include personnel, equipment and facilities required to successfully execute the microorganism development project. Capabilities will make or break a project and certainly play a key role in the time required to reach commercialization or the possibility of ever reaching commercialization.

The final component in a successful commercialization is leadership. Strong leadership is required to obtain required resources, communicate how, when and why success will be attained and to inspire the team developing the microorganism to success. The key characteristics outlined will be illustrated by a variety of experiences and lessons learned on the way from concept to commercialization for lactic acid and isobutanol.

Posted 9/20/11 by . Filed under 33rd SBFC, Featured News.

At the 33rd Symposium, banquet speaker, David Baker, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington, discussed his computer game, Foldit. This revolutionary game has been played by tens of thousands and has hit national news for its groundbreaking work. The article, Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players, was recently published in the Nature Structural & Molecular Biology journal.

Many news organizations have picked up the story. Read Cnet’s article on the groundbreaking work of Foldit.

For more info, visit the Visit the Foldit Web site

Posted 8/16/11 by . Filed under Uncategorized.

On August 16th, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy reports that President Obama has announced up to $510 million will be invested, with private sector partnership, during the next three years into biofuels. Excerpt from EERE progress alert:

President Obama Announces Major Initiative to Spur Biofuels Industry and Enhance America’s Energy Security

President Obama today announced that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Navy will invest up to $510 million during the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation. The initiative responds to a directive from President Obama issued in March as part of his Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future, the administration’s framework for reducing dependence on foreign oil. The biofuels initiative is being steered by the White House Biofuels Interagency Work Group and Rural Council, both of which are enabling greater cross-agency collaboration to strengthen rural America.

For the full report, click here.

Posted 6/23/11 by . Filed under SIM 2011 Annual Meeting.

Sheraton New OrleansSIM’s Annual Meeting typically draws an audience of over 700 attendees. The theme for 2011 is “Emerging Frontiers in Industrial Microbiology.” It is an excellent opportunity to present your work and meet with members of the SIM and other colleagues from academia, industry, and government organizations. The conference also represents an excellent venue for student presentations and provides a wide range of networking opportunities.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans!

For updates on the meeting, look for #simam11.

Posted 4/22/11 by . Filed under News and Updates, Uncategorized.

Badal Saha, SIM President(reprinted from SIM News V. 60 N. 6)

I am honored to begin my term as the President of the Society for Industrial Microbiology (SIM) for 2010-2011. SIM has been in existence for more than 60 years now, and plays the role of a leading society for industrial microbiology and biotechnology globally. I have always made SIM a priority in my professional career. I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with the Society over the years, especially being able to interact with wonderful members, both individual and corporate, and outstanding staff. It is my sincere hope to contribute to the further development of our Society with the participation and support of all our members and directors.