Cell-Free Synthetic Biology and Biocatalysis Listening Day Speakers

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Joseph Rollin, Ph.D, Postdoctoral Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Joseph Rollin, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Dr. Rollin co-founded Cell-Free Bioinnovations (CFB) with Percival Zhang, his academic advisor at Virginia Tech. In 2015, Joe departed CFB and started a fellowship with the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, with whom he continues to work part-time as a Special Government Employee. Earlier this year, Joe started as a Director’s Fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he’s using cell-free systems to better valorize lignin conversion.   

“Purified Cell-Free Systems as a Biofuels and Biochemicals Production Platform”

Zachary Sun, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Chief Executive Director, Synvitrobio, Inc.

Zachary Sun, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Director, Synvitrobio, Inc.

Synvitrobio, Inc. is a startup company working to commercialize cell-free prototyping technologies. Dr. Sun will present Synvitrobio's work with coupled transcription-translation cell-free systems as a simplified platform for engineering biological pathways and for biodiscovery of novel chemicals. Synvitrobio is supported by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Cyclotron Road at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“Cell-Free Systems for Prototyping and Biodiscovery”

James Bowie, Ph.D., Journal of Molecular Biology Editorial Board; Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles

James Bowie, Ph.D.

Journal of Molecular Biology Editorial Board; Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Bowie has received extensive recognition in the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, and protein science, including the 2017 Biophysical Society Anatrace Membrane Protein Award. He was the Protein Society President from 2013 – 2015 and has chaired multiple conferences and councils throughout his professional career, including being the founder and co-chair Gordon Conference of Membrane Protein Folding (2015).

“Synthetic Biochemistry: Making Biofuels and Commodity Chemicals the Cell-Free Way”

Sarah Baker, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Materials Science Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Sarah Baker, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, Materials Science Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Dr. Baker specializes in materials chemistry, with an emphasis on surface chemistry, nanomaterials, and the synthesis of biologically active materials.  She has led projects on electrochemical and optical biosensor development, synthesis of materials for encapsulation of enzymes for energy applications.  She has also worked extensively on the development of new materials for carbon capture.

“Bioprocess Intensification at the Intersection of Biology and Advanced Manufacturing”