Posted 9/25/12 by . Filed under Featured News, News and Updates, Uncategorized.

Join SIMB in October 2012 for the Recent Advances in Microbial Control (RAMC). The meeting is a forum for established industry leaders, entrepreneurs, academics and regulators to discuss new technologies and recent developments in controlling microbial activity in various applications. See full meeting schedule.

Descriptions for 3 of the session topics:

Recent Developments in Food Safety

In recent times many food recalls, precipitated by the detection of pathogens in various meat and produce products, have highlighted the need for superior interventions and early detection of responsible microbes. This session will highlight the impact of new and impending changes to regulations and an assessment of the ability of current intervention practices to meet these changes, with special focus on meat and poultry processing industries. New developments presented will highlight the evolution of microbial detection methods and new opportunities for rapid methods of identification of pathogens. An exciting and emerging new technology that addresses the industry’s unmet needs with use of bacteriophages in specific foods and food processing settings, will round up this session.

Nosocomials

Devices that come in contact with humans, whether they be catheters, or stents, or intraocular lenses, or prosthetics or contact lenses or cosmetics and personal hygiene represent a special relationship, and a need for microbial control. This special relationship also applies to animals. The need for devices that exhibit microbial control properties in this area is well documented. The costs and resources required to obtain regulatory approval have continued to increase, and the likelihood of new control agents is in many cases not considered to be practical.

Emerging Technologies

New approaches and solutions for both detection of microorganisms and control of microorganisms are needed in the arsenal for industrial applications. Advances in fields such as genomics, microfludics and nanomaterials have enabled some of these novel technologies. In this session you will hear advances in rapid detection using genomics and microfluidics, non-chemical microbial control, antimicrobial nanocomposite films, and antimicrobial peptides as well as using microorganisms for microbial control.

Posted 8/2/12 by . Filed under SIMB 2012 Annual Meeting.

Just Announced: SIMB is pleased to welcome Dr. Ruth Shuman, National Science Foundation Program Director for the Biology and Chemical Technologies (BC) Cluster in the SBIR/STTR Program. Dr. Shuman will attend the meeting on Wednesday, August 15 and will meet with attendees interested in finding out more about the SBIR/STTR Program and funding opportunities.

Appointments will be scheduled for ten minutes each, beginning at 9:00 am on Wednesday, August 15. Attendees are encouraged to sign up at the SIMB registration desk as soon as possible as time slots are limited.

An excellent meeting has been planned for SIMB’s 62nd Annual Meeting. Register today.

About Dr. Ruth Shuman

Ruth Shuman joined the National Science Foundation in August 2009. She is currently serving as Program Director for the Biology and Chemical Technologies (BC) Cluster in the SBIR/STTR Program, and was recently named Cluster Leader. Formerly, she was the founder, president, and CEO of a successful venture-backed life science company, Gentra Systems, Inc., that developed, manufactured, and sold products for genetic testing and research to clinical and research laboratories worldwide. Following Gentra’s acquisition, she held various consulting/advisory positions with start-up companies, and was CEO-In-Residence for Life Science with the University of Minnesota’s Venture Center evaluating the business potential of University-developed technology. Ruth began her career as a faculty member at North Carolina State University, and was a pioneer in the development of gene transfer and genetic engineering technology. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in the area of Genetics and Cell Biology.

About the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) And Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program

NSF’s SBIR and STTR programs play a key role in supporting small businesses to move inventions from ideas to commercialization. This funding may be viewed as a ‘pre-seed’ investment in the commercialization spectrum. By providing grant money, the program provides equity-free financial support to small businesses with innovative ideas. NSF’s program differs from those of other agencies as its mentoring and bridge-building efforts specifically encourage development of entrepreneurial skills, such as business development and raising capital, so necessary to achieve commercialization of the technology.

Objectives and Funding Criteria of the SBIR/STTR Program
The main objectives of the SBIR/STTR Program are to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization of new technologies. The innovation must be high-risk while demonstrating high-payback and commercial potential. NSF does not fund incremental optimization of existing products or processes or modification to broaden the scope of a product. In addition, NSF favors companies that demonstrate strategic partnerships with research collaborators, commercial partners, customers, and equity investors.

Current Funding Opportunities:
STTR is a competitive program that provides funding for small business and nonprofit research institution partners. The goal of the STTR program is to facilitate the transfer of the technology from the laboratory to the marketplace by combining the strengths of small business and research institutions.

The next STTR Topic is entitled Enhancing the Bioeconomy using emerging Biological Technologies (EBBT). Proposals submitted to this solicitation must utilize emerging biologically-based technologies such as synthetic biology, systems biology, metabolic engineering, proteomics, bioinformatics, and computational biology. Proposals must address one of the following subtopics: biomedical applications, sustainable agriculture applications, biosensing applications, biomanufacturing applications, and advanced life science tools.

SBIR is a competitive program that provides funding to small businesses to conduct early-stage research of a technology that will lead to the development of a product, process, or service. NSF has formulated broad solicitation topics for SBIR. The Biological and Chemical Technologies (BC) topic area includes subtopics in Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering, Fermentation and Cell Culture Technologies, and Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.

I-Corps is a new program to broaden the impact of NSF-funded, basic-research projects by preparing scientists and engineers to focus beyond the laboratory. It provides funding for entrepreneurial/commercial training of academic researchers that have received NSF funding and have an interest in commercializing their technology.

NSF’s SBIR/STTR Program Website
NSF’s I-Corps Program Website

Posted 7/17/12 by . Filed under SIMB 2012 Annual Meeting.

Join us for the 2012 SIMB Annual Meeting, Aug. 12-16, 2012, in Washington, DC. View the full meeting schedule. Register online today!

Just Announced: SIMB is pleased to welcome Dr. Ruth Shuman, National Science Foundation Program Director for the Biology and Chemical Technologies (BC) Cluster in the SBIR/STTR Program. Dr. Shuman will attend the meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 15 & will meet with attendees interested in finding out more about the SBIR/STTR Program and funding opportunities. Appointments will be scheduled for 10 minutes each, beginning at 9:00 am on Aug. 15. Learn more.

Expo Sold Out! See who’s exhibiting at the 2012 SIMB Annual Meeting. Also, view the exhibitor showcase schedule.

Jay Keasling - Annual Meeting 2012 KeynoteOn Sunday, August 12th at 5 pm, keynote speaker, Jay Keasling, Hubbard Howe Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley will discuss “Synthetic Biology for Synthetic Fuels”. Learn more.

Two pre-meeting scientific workshops. A few seats also available for 2 full-day scientific workshops on Sunday, August 12. Learn more, reserve a spot today.

Job Fair, August 13. Interesting in having a table at the Job Fair on Monday, August 13th? Join Solazyme and the SIMB Placement Service.

SIMB Society Award Winners. Awards will be presented during the banquet at the SIMB Annual Meeting, Tuesday evening, August 14. The Thom Award will be presented on Thursday, August 16, following the lecture at 1 pm. Learn about the winners.

Keep up with SIMB Annual Meeting news. Follow us on Twitter.

Posted 7/5/12 by . Filed under SIMB 2012 Annual Meeting.

You are invited to participate in the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology to be held Aug. 12-16, 2012, in Washington, DC.

Top 3 reasons to attend the 2012 SIMB Annual Meeting:

Early bird expires on Monday, July 9th. Register today & save!

Interesting in having a table at the Job Fair on Monday, August 13th? Register your table by Friday, July 6th.

Visit the Annual Meeting web site for up-to-date info.

Posted 5/23/12 by . Filed under 34th SBFC, News and Updates.

The 34th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, organized by Society for Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, was held April 30- May 3, 2012, in New Orleans, LA. The conference brought together students, researchers, and representatives from industry, academia, and governments. Over 700 attendees heard presentations in the topics of Plant Science & Technology; Biomass Supply & Sustainability; Biomass Physicochemical Analysis; Biomass Recalcitrance; Pretreatment & Fractionation; Enzyme, Bacterial, Yeast & Fungal, and Algae Science & Technology; Biobased Chemicals; Emerging Biofuels; Bioprocessing & Separations Technology; and Biofuels & Biorefinery Economics & Commercialization. This year included three parallel tracks, comprising of 108 oral presentations. Three additional evening sessions were also offered with either poster exhibition or special discussion topics.

It was truly an international meeting with 35% of the attendees from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chili, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Outside the U.S., the greatest delegation came from Brazil and Korea with about 45 attendees from each country. The total attendance for the meeting was 751.

This meeting has always been a meeting attended by graduate students and their advisors, and this year was no exception. 155 students attended and gave excellent presentations for a captive audience. One of the highlights of the conference was the two poster sessions that were held on Monday and Tuesday evening, when students presented their work on 158 posters.

On Wednesday evening, a special topic titled US & International Bioenergy Research Center Updates was held. This session was well attended and highlighted some of the research goal and process together with management principles and coordination efforts of bioenergy centers around the world. Centers from United Kingdom, Japan, and the U.S. were among the presenters.

The organizers of the meeting honored two individuals with awards. Dr. Jens Nielsen from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden received the Charles D. Scott Award and Mr. John Ferrell of the U.S. Department of Energy received the Raphael Katzen Award. The CD Scott Award recognizes individuals who have made distinguished contributions to enable and further the use of biotechnology to produce fuels and chemicals, and the Katzen Award recognizes individuals who have made distinguished contributions to enable and further the deployment and commercialization of biotechnology to produce fuels and chemicals. Dr. Nielsen is a well respected research professor and entrepreneur who have published over 330 research papers and is an inventor of more than 50 patents. Mr. Farrell has been actively involved with the advancement of feedstock supply system and energy crop development and as well as a champion of the Billion Ton Study, which provides the foundation for recent and future United States bioenergy assessments.

Two student awards to the best posters were also handed out. Christine Roche from University of California at Berkley won for her work on engineering filamentous fungi for increased production of lignocellulose-derived lipids. Keith Gourlay from University of British Columbia won for his work on the potential application of substructure-specific carbohydrate binding molecules to track changes in cellulose surface morphology during the initial stages of hydrolysis.

Special Topic Summary

A special topics session was held at the 34th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, organized by Society for Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, was held April 30- May 3, 2012, in New Orleans, LA. This year’s topic was titled US & International Bioenergy Research Center Updates. This topic was first introduced in 2010 and during the last two years bioenergy research centers and institutes continue to focus on developing fundamental knowledge and applied technology for production of biomass-derived fuels and chemicals. Invited speakers from the three U.S. Department of Energy bioenergy research centers, the privately funded Joint BioEnergy Institute, the United Kingdom Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s Sustainable Bioenergy Center, and Japan Biomass Technology Research Center enlightened the audience of their present research goals and progress over the last couple years. Dr. Angela Karp (U.K.), Dr. Kinya Sakanishi (Japan), Dr. Paul Gilna (BioEnergy Science Center), Dr. Blake Simmons (Joint BioEnergy Institute), Dr. Timothy Donohue (Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center), and Dr. Chris Somerville (Energy Biosciences Institute) also participated in a panel discussion to discuss the future fate of bioenergy and coordinating efforts.