Newswise — Industrial biotechnology scientists, educators, entrepreneurs and executives from around the globe will be convening on the University of California San Diego campus this summer to explore the latest advances and world-changing innovations heating up the white-hot field of industrial biotechnology with workshops in microbial fermentation and metabolic engineering.


UC San Diego Extension will host its annual Industrial Biotechnology Workshops on Aug. 14 through 18. Participants can attend the whole program or attend the workshops on microbial fermentation or metabolic engineering separately.


Now in its fifth year, this widely acclaimed educational event creates an informal, intimate environment for robust exchange of knowledge and ideas among world-class academic instructors and leaders of cutting-edge companies of every size from startup to mature, said Hugo Villar, associate dean of Professional & Continuing Education for UC San Diego Extension.


“Whether from California or China, biotechnology professionals attending these workshops will have a front-row seat to learn about current developments and advanced scientific skills being used to solve some the world’s most difficult problems,” Villar said.


Microbial Fermentation


For the past four years, the workshop focused primarily on microbial fermentation, which is the transformation of feedstocks, such as plant sugars, into useful products, like fuels, chemicals, beer or antibiotics, by bacteria, yeast, fungi or algae.


The Microbial Fermentation Workshop will be held Aug. 16 to 18. Participants will be introduced to the fundamental knowledge and practical skills needed to design, develop, optimize, control, scale-up, analyze and troubleshoot fermentation processes.


As one of just a handful of programs in the world that provide in-depth, practically oriented coursework in microbial fermentation, it is expected to draw participants from Connecticut to Croatia.


While workshop participants should have some basic knowledge and experience in fermentation, everyone from scientists to biotech business executives to graduate students could benefit from the microbial fermentation workshop.


This year’s program features some of the brightest minds in the field, including:


Jeff Lievense, senior advisor of Bioengineering & Technology, Genomatica;

Rachel Dutton, assistant professor of Molecular Biology, UC San Diego;

Michael Japs, senior director of Process Technology, Genomatica;

Jon Hansen, principal of New Leaf Biotech;

Jason Ryder, vice president, Process R&D, Hampton Creek; and

Karen Fortmann, senior research scientist, White Labs.


Five interactive case studies, including production of microbes for cheese and beer, will allow attendees to practice what they learn, while the “Fermentation Firing Line” segment will offer a lively, open ended forum for posing questions to the instructional team on fermentation-related topics.


In addition, everyone in attendance can participate in a tour of the global headquarters of White Labs, which produces yeast for beer making, and attend a hosted reception in its craft beer tasting room.


Metabolic Engineering


A new segment on metabolic engineering, which will run Aug. 14-15, will also be offered.


Recently named as one of the top 10 emerging technologies by the World Economic Forum, metabolic engineering focuses on the design and development of equipment and processes for manufacturing products such as agriculture, food, animal feed and pharmaceuticals. 


Instructors joining the interactive course with case studies throughout the curriculum include:


John Pierce, MIT lecturer and former scientist at multinational firms BP and DuPont;

Adam Feist, project scientist, UC San Diego;

Ben Griffin, senior director, Microbial and Enzyme Engineering, Synthetic Genomics;

Jeff Lievense, senior advisor, Genomatica;

Jim Mills, chief technology officer, BioAmber, Inc.;

Bernhard Palsson, principal investigator, UC San Diego; and

Kristy Salmon, head of research, BP.


Those who attend the Metabolic Engineering segment are also invited to participate in a tour of the global headquarters of White Labs, which produces yeast for beer making, and attend a hosted reception in its craft beer tasting room.


Those interested in finding out more about the upcoming workshops can visit , call (858) 534-9353 or email [email protected]