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Title: The New Role and Challenges of Biotechnology in Chemical Industry
Originating Office: IAS
Speaker: Liao, James
Issue Date: 17-Jul-2014
Event Date: 17-Jul-2014
Group/Series/Folder: Record Group 8.15 - Institute for Advanced Study
Series 3 - Audio-visual Materials
Location: 8.15:3 EF
Notes: Title from opening screen.
Lecture sponsored by IAS, co-sponsored by Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
Abstract: Starting from the early 1950's antibiotics fermentation, chemical engineering has a long history in contributing to the biotechnology industry. Since then, chemical engineers have played various important roles in biotechnology industry, particularly in the biopharmaceutical and biomedical areas. However, the reverse is not true. Biotechnology has not made much impact on the traditional chemical industry, even though the latter is increasingly important in the global economy. This situation is beginning to change, as chemical industry is facing unprecedented new challenges in sustainability, greenhouse gas reduction, environmental problems, and global competitions. Green and sustainable processes will be the new focus of the next generation of chemical industry in the whole world. In this regard, biotechnology has unique advantages in benign reaction conditions and simplicity in processing. With advances in genomic techniques, DNA synthesis, and metabolic engineering, an increasing number of chemicals and fuels have been produced using bioprocesses. On the other hand, bioprocesses also have intrinsic limitations: They are slow and not efficient enough. The speaker will discuss the challenges and progress towards solving these problems, and the role of (bio)chemical engineers in this endeavor.
Prof James Liao received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After working as a research scientist at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, he started his academic career at Texas A&M University in 1990. He joined the University of California at Los Angeles in 1997, and is currently Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Professor and Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
Prof Liao’s research has focused on metabolism, including its biochemistry, extension, and regulation. He and his research group use metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, and systems biology to construct microorganisms to produce next generation biofuels and to study the obesity problem in human. They also develop mathematical tools for investigating metabolism and guiding engineering design. Their current main projects include engineering proteins and biochemical pathways for CO2 fixation and production of fuels and chemicals. Their ultimate goal is to use biochemical methods to replace petroleum processing and to treat metabolic diseases.
Prof Liao received numerous prestigious awards including the Young Investigator Award from the US National Science Foundation, the Merck Award for Metabolic Engineering, FPBE Division Award and the Alpha Chi Sigma Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Charles Thom Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology, Marvin J. Johnson Award from the American Chemical Society, James E. Bailey Award from the Society for Biological Engineering, Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, the White House “Champion of Change” for Innovations in Renewable Energy, and the National Academy of Science Award for the Industrial Application of Science, etc. He is a Member of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
Duration: 68 min.
Appears in Series:8.15:3 - Audio-visual Materials
Videos for Public -- Distinguished Lectures