From Biochemical Engineering to Synthetic Biology: A Short History of Engineering Impacts on Biotechnology

Originally delivered Sep 27, 2012
  • Type:
    Archived Webinar
  • Level:
  • Duration:
    1 hour
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Harvey Blanch’s webinar will focus on how biochemical engineering developed in response to the need for large-scale production of antibiotics in the 1940s and 50s, even though fermentation provided a route to many industrial organic chemicals prior to their production from petroleum. He will review the growth and impact of biochemical engineering over the past 70 years, with a focus on the role of genetic engineering and molecular biology in expanding industrial biotechnology. 

The Society for Biological Engineering presents the Bailey Award each year to an individual who has had an important impact on bioengineering and whose achievements have advanced the profession. Professor Jay Bailey, for whom the award is named, left an educational legacy that touched many modern biochemical and biological engineers in the profession today. The award has been endowed by Cytos Biotechnology and recipients include Terry Papoutsakis, Chaitan Khosla, Harvey Blanch, James Liao, James Swartz, George Georgiou, Robert Langer, Nicholas Peppas, Edwin Lightfoot, and Michael Shuler.

The Bailey Webinar Series hosts lectures from each of these award recipients. Dr. Harvey Blanch of UC Berkeley will discuss the role of genetic engineering and molecular biology in expanding industrial biotechnology. 


Harvey Blanch

Research Interests

Current research in the Blanch lab is focused on three areas:

Protein interactions: The broad objectives of this research are to develop molecular-thermodynamic descriptions of the behavior of proteins in electrolyte solutions, to provide a framework for the design and optimization of protein separation systems, in particular protein separation by precipitation and protein crystallization.

DNA Electrophoresis: By observing single-molecule DNA-polymer entanglements directly as DNA electrophoreses through a capillary, we see that DNA/polymer...Read more

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