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Oct. 29 noontime lecture and webcast: Synthetic biology pioneer Jay Keasling

UC Berkeley professor Jay Keasling, Ph.D., a superstar in the scientific world, will discuss the blossoming field of synthetic biology, on Friday, Oct. 29, from noon to 1 p.m. in Franklin 5320.

  • Friday, Oct. 29
  • Noon-1 p.m.
  • Franklin Building, Room 5320

Watch the talk live at This session will also be available afterward for online viewing at To view the live webcast, we recommend you have a high-speed (broadband) internet connection (1.5mbps/sec or greater) and speakers and/or headphones to listen to audio.

The talk is part of a UC systemwide speaker series, sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) at UCOP.

Keasling, who is also the CEO of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), is a pioneer in synthetic biology, which turns microbes into tiny, chemical factories that can churn out valuable life- and earth-saving compounds.

He has received numerous honors for his work, including the first Biotech Humanitarian Award (2009) for developing a simple and much less expensive means of making artemisinin, today’s most powerful anti-malaria drug.

The technology behind the malaria drug breakthrough is now being used to help produce the next generation of biofuels.

In 2006, Discover magazine honored Keasling as its first ever Scientist of the Year. “Fighting malaria is just one part of Keasling’s larger agenda to explore the staggering potential of synthetic biology,” stated the magazine. “In his laboratory, students are engineering microbes to break down pesticides, make biodegradable plastics, and create ethanol and other fuels from plants.”

In addition to his leadership of the JBEI, Keasling is professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering at UC Berkeley, and he heads the Synthentic Biology Engineering Research Center.

Dr. Jay Keasling

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