July 2011 Chapter Meeting

“Cell Engineering for the Production of Biofuels”

Pamela Peralta-Yahya, Ph.D.
Joint BioEnergy Institute

UC Berkeley

When: Thursday, July 28, 2011 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Novartis* , 5400 Hollis St, Building X-310 Emeryville, CA
Cost: $5 for members, $10 for non-members.
RSVP: When registering w/ Eventbrite, it will say FREE, but a fee will be collected at the door.
Transit–BART and free Shuttle by Emery Go Round from MacArthur BART on Hollis Line
*Parking and registration directions:  Park at lot located next to Building X, on Hollis St., north of 53rd St.  Check-in at Building X
Why drive alone? Carpool and get to know a friend!


Dr. Pamela Peralta-Yahya received her B.A. in Chemistry and Biology from Macalester College in 2003. She did her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Columbia University in 2008 in the laboratory of Virginia W. Cornish. Dr. Peralta-Yahya then joined Prof. Jay Keasling’s research group at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI) where she works on the development of novel potential advanced biofuels. Dr. Peralta-Yahya’s current research interest lies in the engineering of enzymes for use in metabolic pathways for the production of novel chemical compounds that can be used as potential biofuels, specialty chemicals, or pharmaceuticals.

Rising petroleum costs, trade imbalances, and environmental concerns have stimulated efforts to advance the microbial production of fuels from biomass. Two cost-limiting steps in this process are the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic material and the microbial production of biofuels with properties similar to existing fuels. In this seminar, we will discuss synthetic biology approaches that address these two bottlenecks. First, the development of a general high-throughput selection for bond cleavage reactions and its application to the directed evolution of cellulases. Second, the engineering of a microbial platform for the production of a terpene based biosynthetic diesel directly from simple sugars. Both of these approaches illustrate an emerging area of synthetic biology: the engineering of the cell for the production of chemicals.

Everyone is welcome, including non-scientists and men. If you are not an AWIS member yet, please join us!



Leave a Reply