Presidential Lecture | AIChE

The 2020 Presidential Lecture will be delivered by Frances H. Arnold, Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry, California Institute of Technology.

Engineering by Evolution: Bringing New Chemistry to Life

Not satisfied with biology’s vast catalyst repertoire, I want to create new enzyme catalysts and expand the chemistry of life to include reactions that nature may not have explored. We use the powerful design process of the biological world, evolution, to optimize existing enzymes and invent new ones, thereby circumventing our profound ignorance of how sequence encodes function. Using mechanistic understanding and mimicking nature’s evolutionary engineering methods, we have generated whole families of new-to-nature enzymes. These capabilities increase the scope of molecules and materials we can build using synthetic biology and move us closer to a sustainable world where human-invented chemistry will be genetically encoded.

Past Lecturers

  1. Matt Sigelman, Chief Executive Officer, Burning Glass Technologies; 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL