Strategies for Bio-Based Production of Chemicals and Materials

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 11:00am
Fung Auditorium, Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Sang Yup Lee, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor and Director
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Strategies for Bio-Based Production of Chemicals and Materials


As our concerns on the use of non-renewable fossil resources have increased, there has been much worldwide interest in developing processes for the bio-based production of chemicals and materials from renewable non-food biomass. In order to achieve economic competitiveness, system-wide engineering and optimization of cellular metabolism are performed while considering the available raw materials and industrially relevant fermentation and recovery processes. Major challenges have been the time-, cost- and labor-intensive processes of strain development. These challenges can be overcome by taking systems approaches through the use of state-of-the-art tools of systems biology, synthetic biology and evolutionary engineering in the context of subsequent fermentation and downstream processes all together. In this lecture, I will describe general strategies of systems metabolic engineering for developing microbial strains capable of efficiently producing chemicals and materials.


Sang Yup Lee is Distinguished Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He is currently the Director of Center for Systems and Synthetic Biotechnology, Director of BioProcess Engineering Research Center, and Director of Bioinformatics Research Center. He has published more than 510 journal papers, 64 books/book chapters, and more than 580 patents—either registered or applied. He received numerous awards, including the National Order of Merit, National Science Medal, Science and Technology Medal from President of Korea, Ho-Am Prize in Engineering, POSCO TJ Park Prize, Merck Metabolic Engineering Award from Merck, and Elmer Gaden Award from Biotechnology and Bioengineering. He is currently Fellow of AAAS, Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology, Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Fellow of Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Fellow of American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, Fellow of Korean Academy of Science and Technology, and Fellow of National Academy of Engineering Korea. He is also Foreign Associate of National Academy of Engineering USA, and Editor-in-Chief of Biotechnology Journal, and Associate Editor and board member of numerous journals. He has served as the Chairman of the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies and also Biotechnology, at the World Economic Forum. He founded the World Council on Industrial Biotechnology in 2010 and served as a Founding Chair for two years. He is currently serving as a member of Presidential Advisory Committee on Science and Technology in Korea. His research interests are metabolic engineering, systems biology and biotechnology, industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and nanobiotechnology.