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Highlight Seminar: James Liao, University of California, Los Angeles

Date: April 25, 2016

Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Location: Maeder Hall

Professor James Liao, of the University of California, Los Angeles, will speak on the topic of “Re-designing Metabolism for Carbon Management” as part of the 2015-2016 Highlight Seminar Series. Professor Liao’s abstract and biography will be posted closer to the date of this seminar.

The key metabolic pathways, the enzymes involved, and their reaction mechanisms were largely elucidated through a collection of efforts in the 20th century. Since then, metabolism has often been neglected as a field of solved problem attracting little attention. With the growing understanding of biochemical functions of the cells and the organisms, time is ripe for re-thinking and re-designing the metabolic pathways to solve problems in energy and medicine.

These two seemingly unrelated fields are surprisingly linked at the level of metabolism. Efficient energy metabolism is both crucial to the biological production of fuels as well as managing obesity, cancer metabolism, and brain function. In this talk, we will discuss how fundamental metabolic pathways can be re-designed to afford efficient biofuel production. We will attempt to derive principles of metabolic engineering in both computational and experimental aspects.

Dr. James C. Liao is Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Professor and Department Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering of UCLA. He received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2010), the White House Champion of Change” for innovations in renewable energy (2012), the ENI Renewable Energy Prize (2013), and the National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science (2014). He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, and Academia Sinica in Taiwan.

All seminars are held on Mondays from 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment’s Maeder Hall. A reception will be provided in the lobby of Maeder Hall immediately following the seminar.