[Lecture] Forward Engineering of Multi-cellular Biomachines
Jun. 10, 2022
Speaker: Hal Alper, The University of Texas at Austin
Moderator: Haixia (Alice) Zhang, Peking University
Time: 20:00-21:30, June 10, 2022 GMT+8
Venue: Scan the QR code
Recent technical advances are leading to a rapid transformation of the chemical palette available in cells, thus making it conceivable to produce nearly any organic molecule of interest—from biofuels to biopolymers to pharmaceuticals. However, these feats require the ability to “hijack” native cellular machinery and metabolism and navigate the complexity inherent in cellular regulation. This talk will cover examples of how microbial systems and enzyme can achieve the goal of sustainable chemical production and waste valorization. Examples include rewired cells for polymer precursors, plastic waste depolymerization, unconventional carbon utilization, and platform strain engineering for products such as polyketides and lipids. Throughout the talk, there will be a focus on the fundamental principles necessary to rewire metabolism and expedite the design-build-test-learn-deploy cycle of engineering.
Dr. Hal Alper is the Les and Sherri Stuewer Endowed Professor and Executive Director, of the Center for Biomedical Research Support at The University of Texas at Austin. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and was a postdoctoral research associate at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research from 2006-2008, and at Shire Human Genetic Therapies from 2007-2008. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory for Cellular and Metabolic Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin where his lab focuses on metabolic and cellular engineering in the context of biofuel, biochemical, and biopharmaceutical production in an array of model host organisms. Dr. Alper has published over 135 articles and 8 book chapters and is the recipient of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award in 2008, the Texas Exes Teaching Award in 2009, the DuPont Young Investigator Award in 2010, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2011, the UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012, the 2013 Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel I.C. Wang Award, the Jay Bailey Young Investigator Award in Metabolic Engineering in 2014, the 2014 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2015 Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology Young Investigator Award, 2016 ACS BIOT Young Investigator Award, 2016 UT-Austin Emerging Inventor of the Year Award, 2018 AIChE Allan P. Colburn Award, and 2019 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Engineering. He is a Fellow of both the National Academy of Inventors and The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.