Canada Research Chair in Systems Genetics & Cell Biology; Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research
and the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto.
Brenda completed undergraduate and PhD studies at the University of Toronto before taking a role as Research Fellow with Dr. Ira Herskowitz at the University of California, San Francisco, in 1991. Her research focusses on understanding cellular signaling processes and genetic networks in budding yeast using functional genomics, high content screening and gene expression tools. Topics of primary interest include: Exploring Functional Genomics and Genetic Networks using synthetic genetic array (SGA) technology, Phenomics via combined SGA with high content screening (HCS) to define protein localization and abundance in a variety of situations, and Cell cycle-regulated transcription using SGA analysis of reporter gene-expression.
Professor, Biotechnology, Graz University of Technology
Anton Glieder is Prof for Biotechnology at the Graz University of Technology, where he leads a research group for the engineering of protein and pathway expression systems by yeasts with a special emphasis on P. pastoris expression systems. After his studies in chemistry at the University Vienna and his PhD studies in Microbiology at the University Graz, he spent some years as a head of innovation in the food industry and as a postdoc in Biocatalysis at the University of Technology in Graz. As visiting scientist at Caltech and UCSD he gained experience in protein engineering and yeast strain genomics and engineering, which also led to many close and successful collaborations with industry. Later he became a cofounder and CEO&CSO of the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology and since 2014 he is also founder and CEO of the university spin off bisy GmbH, which provides tools, technologies and services for protein production by P. pastoris with new research facilities in Gleisdorf, Austria.
Research Professor in Systems and Synthetic Biology
Verena Siewers is a Research Professor at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. She obtained her PhD in 2004 in Molecular Biology from the University of Münster (Germany) with a thesis on secondary metabolite production in the grey mold Botrytis cinerea. She worked as a PostDoc at the Technical University of Denmark (2005-2008) on engineering Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce non-ribosomal peptides, before joining Chalmers University of Technology in 2008, first as a Researcher, then Senior Researcher (2016-2020) and since 2021 as Research Professor. Her main research interest is the application of yeast for the production of various compounds including food ingredients, bioplastics, agrochemicals, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals. Major activities are concentrated around the development of synthetic biology tools such as metabolite biosensors to optimise these yeast cell factories.
Dr Tom Williams completed his PhD in synthetic biology at The University of Queensland in 2015. Tom then started as a postdoctoral researcher under the mentorship of Professors Sakkie Pretorius and Ian Paulsen at Macquarie University where he worked on the ‘Yeast 2.0’ synthetic yeast genome project, engineering one-carbon metabolism in yeast through a CSIRO Future Science Platform Fellowship, engineering minimal genomes, and on a diverse array of projects focused on directed evolution and biosensor engineering. In 2022 Tom became a research group leader and Chief Scientist of the Australian Genome Foundry at Macquarie University. Most recently, Tom co-founded and serves as CEO of Number 8 Bio, which is using synthetic biology to decarbonize agriculture.
Kyria Boundy-Mills received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota. She worked with eminent yeast ecologist Herman Phaff for two years (1999-2001), and took over management of the Phaff Yeast Culture Collection (https://phaffcollection.ucdavis.edu) in 2001. She manages the collection and uses it in her research program. She assists researchers around the world to select strains most suited to their research needs.
Founding director, SUSFERM, Editor in Chief of the yeast community journal, FEMS Yeast Research
John graduated from University College Cork (UCC), Ireland with a BSc in Microbiology before moving to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany to carry out his doctoral research on rRNA process in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. After obtaining his PhD in 1995, he undertook post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, USA and at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. He returned to UCC in 2000 and leads a group especially interested in research with non-Saccharomyces yeasts for food and industrial biotechnology applications. He is the founding director of a recently established centre in UCC for microbial fermentation and bioprocess engineering (SUSFERM). John is also Editor in Chief of the yeast community journal, FEMS Yeast Research and represents Ireland on the ICY.
Professor at the University of Rzeszow, Poland
Andriy Sibirny graduated from the University of Lviv and his career is connected with the Institute of Cell Biology, The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in the same city. He also works as a Professor at the University of Rzeszow, Poland. Prof Sibirny is a specialist in cell biology and biotechnology of non-conventional yeasts. He described new genes involved in autophagy and pexophagy, ATG26, ATG28 and ATG35 and is studying high-temperature alcoholic xylose fermentation, and riboflavin and flavin nucleotide synthesis. He has constructed efficient producers of glutathione, riboflavin, FMN, FAD, and the bacterial antibiotic, roseoflavin, in yeasts.
Laboratory of Applied Stress Microbiology, Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST).
Prof Hiroshi Takagi’s extensive career includes work as a Research Scientist at Ajinomoto Co, Inc. (1982–1995), a PhD from the University of Tokyo (1988) for work on protein engineering of bacterial protease, before commencing as an Associate Professor at Fukui Prefectural University (1995) to research novel stress-tolerant mechanisms in yeast, focusing on amino acid metabolism and the ubiquitin system, and their applications to breeding industrial yeast. Promoted to Full Professor in 2001 he moved to Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in 2006 to head the Laboratory of Applied Stress Microbiology until now. With >230 papers, and >100 books and reviews, he’s been recognised with the Achievement Award of the Society for Biotechnology, Japan (2017), The Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry Award (2020) and more notably the Medal with Purple Ribbon (2022) for his outstanding research achievements in applied microbiology. He was the first Japanese Chair of the International Commission on Yeasts (2016–2021). After mandatory retirement, Prof Takagi will open a Laboratory of Fermentation Science in April 2023 as a Specially Appointed Professor to continue his yeast research.
Dee Carter conducts research on a variety of fungal pathogens, with a particular interest in the intersection between fungal ecology and human disease. Her lab also works to develop novel antifungal strategies and therapies, with a focus on using repurposed agents and natural products as synergists to enhance existing antifungal treatments.
Born in Germany, I pursued my tertiary education in Germany and France and obtained a Ph.D. in Life Sciences at the University of Bordeaux II in 1993. I currently hold the position of South African Research Chair in Integrated Wine Science and of Distinguished Professor in Wine Biotechnology at Stellenbosch University. My research has been published in more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and in several book chapters. I have been invited to present numerous keynote, opening or plenary lectures at international and national conferences, and am a member of the Editorial Boards of Yeast, FEMS Yeast Research, BMC Microbiology and the South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture.
Francisco Carrau was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, into the ninth generation of a family of viticulturist and winemakers started in 1752 in Catalunya, Spain. He graduated from the Universidad de la Republica of Uruguay in 1987 in Biological Sciences at the School of Science. Concurrent with his studies, he became involved in winemaking at his family winery in 1980. He set up the first wine R&D laboratory in Uruguay at Castel Pujol/Cerro Chapeu winery, where he has been selecting and applying native yeasts since 1985. In 1990, he did postgraduate studies in yeast biochemistry at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain with Dr. Rosario Lagunas, thanks to a scholarship from the European Community. In 1994 he gained a position as part time professor at the Food Science and Technology Department of the School of Chemistry in Uruguay. In 2003 he obtained a PhD at the School of Chemistry under the direction of Dr. Paul A. Henschke of the Australian Wine Research Institute and Dr. Eduardo Dellacassa in yeast fermentation and flavors. Since 2016, Francisco Carrau is full Head Professor and leads the Enology and Fermentation Biotechnology Area of the School of Chemistry, UdelaR.
The yeast deletion collections represent a triumph of molecular genetics and scientific collaboration. These mutant strains carry precise start-to-stop deletions of ~6000 open reading frames in both haploid mating types and as heterozygous and homozygous diploids. The yeast deletion collection, or yeast knockout (YKO) set, represents the first and the only complete, systematically constructed deletion collection available for any eukaryotic organism. In the twenty-five years since its introduction, the YKO strains have been used in hundreds of laboratories and tested in over 10,000 screens. laboratories in >1000 genome-wide screens. Notable spinoff technologies include synthetic genetic array and HIPHOP chemogenomics. Despite its age, the YKO continues to provide new insights, and last year, we completed the first YKO screen in lunar orbit. This talk will review rich data provided by the YKO and explore what the next 25 years may hold.
Graeme Walker completed his PhD in Yeast Physiology in 1978 from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He was conferred DSc by Abertay University in 2004 and was elected to Fellow of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling in 2009. His professional career has included: Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellow at Carlsberg Foundation, Copenhagen; Lecturer (Biochemistry) at Otago University, New Zealand; Lecturer (Biotechnology) at Dublin City University; visiting Professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, USA; Senior Lecturer (Microbiology) and Reader (Biotechnology) at Dundee Institute of Technology. He is a Guest Lecturer at the Siebel Institute/World Brewing Academy in Chicago and acts as Scientific Director of The Ethanol Technology Institute that hosts the international Alcohol Schools. Graeme is Professor of Zymology at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland where he directs a yeast research group focusing on physiology and biotechnology of industrial yeasts. He has published over 200 articles and has authored several textbooks, including Yeast Physiology & Biotechnology, Bioethanol and The Alcohol Textbook. Professor Walker acts as consultant for international brewing, distilling, biotechnology and biofuel companies.
Milan Čertík is a Professor of Biotechnology at the Institute of Biotechnology, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia. His professional specialty is focused on: 1) study and regulation of microbial production of biologically active lipophilic compounds by solid state and submerged fermentations, and 2) gene engineering of yeasts to aimed re-design of metabolic pathways by functional heterologous expression of key genes coding biosynthesis of biologically active and unusual lipid compounds. Milan has visited as an Invited Professor (long/short stays) several Universities/Institutions over the World (Japan, USA, Thailand, Taiwan, Austria, Norway, Greece, Poland, etc.). He has organized/co-organized several domestic and foreign congresses. Milan has been principal investigator of 52 projects (25 national, 17 international, 10 industrial), published 172 scientific/special papers and 13 book/book chapters with citation index +2050 and h-index 27. Milan is a board member/member of numerous international societies, journals and scientific committees.
I was awarded my PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of East Anglia, UK, 2005. The research involved numerical and analytical studies on non-linear free-surface flows. Shortly after completing my PhD I accepted a Research Associate position at the University of Adelaide, researching the chaotic dynamical systems approach to fluid mixing and its application to designing mixing devices. I briefly left Adelaide in 2007, joining the University of Melbourne as a Research Fellow. There I developed both discrete and continuous mathematical models for the neural crest cell invasion in the embryonic gut. I returned to the University of Adelaide in 2009, having been appointed a continuing position as a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics. My current research includes (i) quantifying and modelling biological spatial patterns and (ii) predicting channel bed topography in free-surface flows.
Kate Howell is Associate Professor in Food Chemistry at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Kate graduated with her PhD from the University of New South Wales, with her project based at the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide, Australia. After a postdoc in the laboratory of Prof Howard Riezman (University of Geneva, Switzerland), Kate commenced an academic position at the University of Melbourne to understand the involvement of yeasts in a wide variety of food fermentations. Recent work investigates the role of interactions of yeasts and bacteria in sourdough starters, intercellular communication in S. cerevisiae and fungal ecology and biogeography in agriculture.
Dr Kate Poole is an Associate Professor at UNSW’s School of Medical Sciences. She received her PhD from the University of Adelaide (2002), and completed post-doctoral training in Germany: at Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden (2002-2005), and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin (2008-2012). In between, Kate spent a couple of years working in industry for the Atomic Force Microscopy company, JPK Instruments, AG. She established her own research group in 2012 at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin supported by a Cecile Vogt Fellowship. Kate returned to Australia in 2016 when she was recruited as a group leader in Single Molecule Science.
Johan Thevelein received his PhD in Biology (Botany, biochemistry-physiology) at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and spent two years as post-doctoral researcher at Yale University (New Haven, USA). He was appointed PhD student, post-doc and permanent researcher at FWO, and then professor at KU Leuven. In 2002 his laboratory was selected as new VIB department and he was appointed Department Director. He has been visiting professor at several universities world-wide and special visiting researcher in the Science without Borders program in Brazil. He has developed world-leading research in the field of cellular nutrient sensing using yeast as experimental model. He elucidated the sensing and signaling network for glucose activation of the Ras-cAMP-PKA pathway, discovering the first nutrient-sensing G-protein coupled receptor and the molecular connection between sugar breakdown and the oncogenic Ras proteins revealing the importance of the Warburg effect for oncogenic potency, and also discovered nutrient transceptors as new cellular regulation mechanism. He also accomplished world-leading applied yeast research with the development of a powerful platform for genetic analysis of complex traits of industrial importance in yeast and its use for improvement of industrial yeast strains. This has led to collaboration projects with more than 20 companies world-wide, the establishment of GlobalYeast, and subsequently NovelYeast, aimed at provision of superior industrial yeast strains for production of bioethanol and bio-based chemicals with first- and second-generation substrates and the use of yeast for other applications in the food and medical sectors, including production of proteins, low-calorie sugars, probiotics and anticancer compounds
I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering and Science in 2000 from The University of Queensland, after which I joined Proteome Systems, an Australian biotechnology company. In 2004 I moved to the ETH Zurich in Switzerland for my doctoral studies. I joined the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences as a University of Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2008 and NHMRC Career Development Fellow in 2012. I am now Associate Professor in Biochemistry.
I started my scientific career as an undergraduate student in Dr. Ivan Sadowski’s lab (Dept. of Biochemistry, UBC) in 1990 and have worked with Saccharomyces cerevisiae ever since! I studied G1/S phase cell cycle control in Dr. Brenda Andrews’ lab (University of Toronto) for my PhD and chromosome segregation in Dr. Phil Hieter’s lab (Dept. of Medical Genetics, UBC) during my postdoc. In 2003 I was recruited by Dr. Hennie van Vuuren to the wine research centre at UBC and began to work on S. cerevisiae as an industrial organism. My lab has two research programs – understanding the mechanism of mobile element insertion into the genome using the Ty1 retrotransposon of S. cerevisiae as a model system and a wine yeast program where we isolate and characterize Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces yeast from the BC Okanagan wine region.
Trained in microbiology and biochemistry Sonja specialized in microbial synthetic biology. Her group uses a combination of environmental microbiology, protein engineering, genetic engineering, and functional genomics to access, understand, and engineer the functional diversity of nature’s yeast-based mycobiome for applications in human health and industrial biotechnology, as well as to answer fundamental questions on yeast (pathogen) biology.
Adrianna Skoneczna graduated in Biology from Warsaw University, Poland. She completed her PhD studies and habilitation in Biochemistry at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, where she now leading the Laboratory of Genetic Stability Mechanisms. She analyzes the mechanisms determining the genetic stability of cells, taking into account both the mutations present in their genomes, the environmental conditions, and the stage of cell life, in the context of the cell cycle and aging. In other words, she is interested in how cells can avoid unfavorable mutations in the genome, using molecular mechanisms of stress signaling and activation of the stress response. Those mechanisms include detoxification, damage repair, or removal from the cell population of those whose genome does not meet the quality criteria. She is also interested in how cells adapt to the mutations if they have already occurred.
Sarah is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and began her faculty role in 2019. She obtained her PhD at the University of Auckland in 2015 and spent time at the University of York in the UK on a BBSRC mobility scholarship. Her specialties lie in molecular and microbial ecology where her research examines the forces driving the distribution, diversity, and performance of microbial communities, and how those communities contribute to the quality, sustainability, and local identity of products from primary industries, particularly wine.
I am a PhD candidate in the Hittinger Lab and Genetics Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. I use a combination of molecular and computational techniques to study alternative carbon metabolism in wild yeasts. In particular, I focus on industrially and ecologically important alpha glucosides, and what the evolution of these metabolic pathways at the protein and genome scales can teach us about the acquisition of rare traits. I previously trained at the University of Oregon, where I studied evolutionary genomics in the Threespine stickleback and the biochemistry of chromatin remodeling proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Dr. Weerawat Runguphan is a senior researcher at Thailand’s National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) with expertise in yeast metabolic engineering and biochemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from MIT in 2011 and underwent postdoctoral training at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) between 2011 and 2014. He was a Thai Government Scholar as well as a UK Royal Academy of Engineering Leaders in Innovation Fellow. At BIOTEC, Dr. Runguphan delves into the study of locally under-researched microbial hosts, using them as platforms for producing biofuels and chemicals from renewable biomass. Simultaneously, he leverages machine learning to optimize metabolic pathways for the heterologous synthesis of chemicals.
Cristian completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the Catholic University of Chile where he also completed a master’s degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses. He has research work in Chile, South Africa, France and Canada. Cristian is a member of the editorial boards of the peer-review journals: Applied and Environmental Microbiology; Food Microbiology, FEMS Yeast Research and International Journal of Food Microbiology. His main research interests include the isolation and characterization of several microbial species including S. cerevisiae, non-Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces bruxellensis.
Patrick Fickers has completed his PhD in Biochemistry from Universite de Liege, Belgium and from Institut National Agronomique, Paris, France. In 2004, he was at Polytech’ Lille, France as a Post doctorate. In 2005, he has joined the Centre of Protein Engineering, Liege, Belgium as FNRS fellow. He was an Associate Professor at Universite libre de Bruxelles and the Head of the Biotechnology and Bioprocess Unit from 2009 to 2014. Since 2015, he is Professor at Gembloux Agro BioTech, University of Liege in the Microbial Processes and Interactions. He is also a Scientific Collaborator at University of Camaguey, Cuba and Adjunct Professor at TDT University (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). He has published more than 40 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, 6 book chapters and several review articles. His researches focus on the development of yeast and bacterial strains by metabolic engineering. He is also interested in process development in bioreactor for the production of valuable compounds
Since 2015, Inge Van Bogaert is a Professor at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium and is a member of the Centre for Synthetic Biology where she is the group leader of the BioPort Team. She graduated from Ghent University with an MSc in Bioscience Engineering in 2004. In 2008 she obtained a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences on the Microbial Production of Sophorolipids, fulfilled at the Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology and Biocatalysis (InBio.be) of Ghent University. Prof. Dr. ir. Inge Van Bogaert is highly experienced in the synthesis of natural and new‐to‐nature bio‐surfactants by microbial fermentation, with a focus on yeasts, shown by authorship of 58 international publications and six patents. Recently, she initiated a research line on the emerging topic of transport over biological membranes. Besides guiding PhD‐ and master‐ students on the above research topics, she is teaching bachelor and master courses in Belgium and abroad.
I am a career scientist who has worked in industry and academia, with expertise in microbial genetics and physiology, as well as fermentation and downstream processing. My research career has focused on how cells cope with, and adapt to, genetic and physiological stresses. This subject area has particular relevance to the survival and adaptation of cells and organisms, as well as applications of microbes in industrial biotechnology. At stages throughout my career I have worked in the fields of new antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, enzymatic antimicrobials, plasmid biology, DNA repair and recombination, molecular biology of stress response, microbial physiology and biochemistry, fermentation and downstream processing. Specifically, I have worked on bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi, and slime moulds as model systems. I have >150 refereed scientific publications, book chapters, patents and conference communications.
Phil Morle is a partner at Main Sequence where he leads the Feed 10 Billion People challenge. He’s passionate about delivering healthier people and a healthier planet, leading him to develop an interest in a number of adjacent areas such as decarbonisation, synthetic biology, new materials and recycling. Since joining, he has led the firm’s company creation program called Venture Science, developing notable startups such as v2food, Samsara Eco and Eden Brew.
A proud former theatre director, his career has taught him how to build something from nothing, build tightly unified teams and tell a story. This unique skill set allows him to help companies pinpoint their unique story to fuel strategy and momentum in the market.
Serving as the chairperson for companies co-founded by Main Sequence, Phil oversees the strategic outcomes and purpose for Eden Brew, Samsara Eco, v2food, and RapidAIM, and as a director to Nourish Ingredients, Coviu Global, Q-CTRL, and Maxwell Plus, among many others.
Prior to Main Sequence, Phil co-founded the first tech incubator in Asia Pacific – Pollenizer. Here he played an instrumental role in developing the startup ecosystem across Asia Pacific and advised some of the world’s biggest organisations on practical ways to deliver new growth and the cultural change that is required to get there. Before that, he served as the CTO at the massive file-sharing company – Kazaa. At its height, this company was the majority of data traveling through the internet and played a material role in the emergence of how media is shared today. In 2016, he led and designed the program for ON, CSIRO’s national deep tech accelerator program. Phil graduated from Northumbria University with a BA (honours) in Performing Arts
Dr Robert Speight is Director of the Advanced Engineering Biology (AEB) Future Science Platform (FSP) at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. CSIRO solves the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. An experienced leader in engineering biology, Robert is recognised in Australia and internationally for his contribution towards the development of industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology industries. As Director of the AEB FSP, Robert is passionate about fostering a collaborative science and technology ecosystem to unlock opportunities for the environment, society, and the economy. The AEB FSP is delivering new innovative tools to fast track the development of biotechnological solutions and new industries in Australia. Robert joined CSIRO in 2022 and has extensive networks across industry, government, and the Australian engineering biology ecosystem. He has held a number of leadership roles in industry and academia, most recently as Head of the School of Biology and Environmental Science at QUT. Robert received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and BSc from Imperial College London and undertook postdoctoral training at the University of Edinburgh.
Stella works to help the sustainable proteins research community across Europe secure grant funding for open-access research. Stella leads the Good Food Institute research funding-related work in the science and technology team, collaborating with scientists, universities, funding bodies, and other partners to foster a thriving research ecosystem across Europe. Her background is in chemistry, science policy, research funding, and science communication. Stella works to help the sustainable proteins research community across Europe secure grant funding for open-access research. Learn more about the science of sustainable protein and access resources for researchers, students, and educators.
When I started my career, 25 years ago, I have been puzzled by wine yeast diversity, and its impact on wine aroma. Since, my work has been dedicated to characterize and explore yeast diversity, understand how it is generated, and affects the technological properties of wine yeast. For the last years, I have been focussing on yeast adaptation through genomic approaches, looking for selective sweeps, indication of positive selection etc… in order to decipher how domestication has impacted the genomes of some yeast populations.
Irina Borodina is a Professor in Yeast Metabolic Engineering at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Her research focuses on advancing the methodologies for metabolic engineering of yeast cell factories for the sustainable production of bulk and high-value chemicals. She received a Chemical Engineering degree from the Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania in 2001 and a Ph.D. degree in Biotechnology from DTU in 2007. Dr. Borodina has authored 65 peer-reviewed articles, which have been cited over 3,600 times, and she is co-inventor of 13 patent families. She is the co-founder and CSO of the biotech start-up company BioPhero which produces insect pheromones for environmentally friendly pest control. She received the 2016 Jay Bailey Young Investigator Award in Metabolic Engineering, the 2019 Equinor Prize, and was selected as a 2019 EU Women Innovator.
Co-Founder of MicroBioGen, a biotechnology company that emerged from Macquarie University with an aim to develop unique biological catalysts for the production of foods, nutraceuticals, and biofuel. After over 20 years of development, we have successfully generated unique yeast catalysts that allow us to refine applications to ethanol, green coal, alternative proteins, and high-protein animal feed. As Director of Research, my goal is to see the full-scale commercial deployment of our technology, helping companies achieve sustainable solutions.
Alumni of California Polytechnic State University, where I completed a double Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. My excitement for learning about the functioning of the microscopic world developed through my coursework, and led me to a job as an undergraduate researcher in the Cal Poly Center for Applications in Biotechnology. As well as mastering key laboratory techniques in the area of microbiology and molecular biology, I grew as a research scientist in this position—gaining experience in managing teams, acquiring grants, and completing long term projects. These abilities prepared me well for my next research position at UC Berkeley, where I worked on a team focused on battling the serious and growing concern of bacterial drug-resistance in both the clinic and environment. Here I completed an independent project and was second author on a paper accepted for publication. In parallel to my growth as a research scientist, I have developed passion for educating others through my work as a tutor, study session leader, and teaching assistant. My most rewarding work in this area was as Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for the newly founded chapter of American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Cal Poly, which included the establishment a science fair at a local elementary school that lacked the resources to host one in the past. My work in the private sector as a microbiologist for a large brewery, while it may seem a departure from my previous, has in fact been the most challenging and growth-inducing role yet. The role of quality analyst involved learning all the ins and outs of a production environemnet and relies on working closely with engineers, filter technicians, and packaging managers. In contrast to academia, the pace and focus on efficiency is extremely high. Currently, I am looking for new opportunities to apply and extend my experience in scientific research and microbial management in the San Diego Area.
Pilar Morales received her PhD from the University of Valencia (Spain) and did her postdoctoral training in France. Back to Spain, she worked at INIA, and since 2008 she joined the Institute of Grapevine and Wine Sciences (ICVV). Her group studies the interactions between different wine yeast species in spontaneous or co-inoculated fermentations, and currently focuses on the role of extracellular vesicles as communication vehicles. Her group also studies the alcoholic fermentation process to find solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Jenny completed a PhD following on from a BSc in Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Adelaide, Australia and has worked in the Bioscience team at the AWRI since 1997. Her research project focus is the development of new yeast with novel traits for the wine industry. Much of her work has involved the production of interspecific hybrids between commercial wine strains and other closely related yeast of the Saccharomyces genus. During the past decade hybrid wine yeasts generated from this project have undergone industrial trials in Australia and Europe. This work has led to collaborations with international scientific researchers and wine industry partners, culminating in the commercialisation of six new interspecific wine yeast hybrids.
Dr Laura Navone, Eden Brew’s R&D Director, is a Synthetic Biologist with expertise in the areas of protein production and precision fermentation. Laura started her career at Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina completing her integrated Bachelors and Masters degree in biotechnology. After completing her PhD in metabolic engineering at Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Argentina in 2014, Laura was awarded an Australian Government Endeavour Fellowship to conduct postdoctoral research at The University of Queensland. In 2016, Laura moved to Queensland University of Technology to lead research on recombinant protein production, enzyme technologies, functionalisation of textiles, biosensors and other synthetic biology tools. Her research and developments have provided important outputs for Australian industries and delivered patented technologies. Laura is now R&D Director at Eden Brew, leading science teams towards delicious animal-free-dairy to meet the protein global demand.
Heide-Marie Daniel studied food science and technology at the Humboldt-University Berlin and holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the Technical University Berlin, Germany. She joined BCCM/MUCL, the Agro-food & Environmental Fungal culture collection hosted by the Laboratory of Mycology, UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium in 2004 were she serves as yeast curator and deputy BRC manager. The study of the molecular phylogeny of Candida species and related ascomycetous yeasts during MSc and PhD projects at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, Australia, shaped her interest and the work at BCCM/MUCL brough about her experience in the diversity, cultivation, molecular identification, and systematics of yeasts.
Thomas Collier embarked on his academic journey at Macquarie University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Molecular. Following his undergraduate studies, Thomas honed his expertise in Synthetic Biology, particularly focusing on sustainable oil production using yeast. His deep interest in this area led him to complete a Master of Research followed by a Ph.D. candidacy at Macquarie University’s Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology (CoESB). His research revolves around the development of high-throughput methods for yeast-based lipid production. With his experience in genetic design and assembly, as well as quantitative techniques and analysis, Thomas has demonstrated a commitment to enhancing sustainable lipid production within yeast. Beyond his research, he is actively involved in the Synthetic Biology community, contributing to the Synthetic Biology Australasian (SBA) society and the Australian Synthetic Biology Challenge (ASBC) leading the next generation of researchers. Recently Thomas’s passion extends beyond academia and have developed into business where he founded LEVUR, currently he serves as the CEO. LEVUR harnesses the power of synthetic biology to produce sustainable oils like palm and coconut oils, contributing to a cleaner, greener future.
Uwe Himmelreich is the head of the Biomedical MRI group and part of the Molecular Small Imaging Center (MoSAIC) at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium. For more than 25 years, he has developed a strong research interest in using molecular imaging techniques to study infectious diseases, host-pathogen interactions and microorganisms in particular in the context of fungal infections. He has supervised more than 25 PhD students (University of Sydney and KU Leuven). He has published more than 300 manuscripts in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Since 2007, he is professor at the Department of Imaging and Pathology at KU Leuven, Belgium. One of his research foci is the development of multimodal/ multiparametric imaging methods to better understand fungal infections in the host in vivo.
27 November - 1 December 2023
National Wine Centre of Australia
Corner of Hackney Rd & Botanic St, Adelaide SA 5000
12 Stirling Street
Thebarton SA 5031, Australia
(08) 8125 2200