San Diego, May 3, 2013
Genomatica today announced the appointment of Dr. Frances H. Arnold to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). As one of the world’s leading authorities on protein engineering, directed protein evolution, enzymology, and metabolic engineering, Arnold joins the company’s advisory team that consists of world-renowned scientists in the fields of metabolic engineering and systems biology.
Dr. Arnold’s appointment comes at an exciting time for Genomatica – having achieved successful commercial-scale production of 5 million pounds of BDO in just 5 weeks – in late 2012. Genomatica will leverage her expertise as it tackles the development of new manufacturing processes for many of the world’s most widely-used intermediate and basic chemicals from renewable feedstocks.
“Genomatica is the clear leader in the advancement of renewable chemicals,” said Arnold. “My background and experience makes working with Genomatica a natural fit. I am excited to join such an esteemed group of colleagues as we work with the company to enhance sustainability worldwide.”
Dr. Arnold is currently a professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. She is the recipient of numerous accolades from industry and academia including the Charles Stark Draper Prize (2011); the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011); Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011); Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2010) and Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology (2009). She holds a bachelors of science in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University, a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Arnold has been elected to all three National Academies, Engineering (NAE), Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, making a total of seven members of the Genomatica SAB that belong to at least one of the National Academies.
“Frances Arnold holds tremendous relevant experience that will further help us in tackling scientific and technical challenges as we continue to push the capabilities of biotechnology for the chemical industry,” said Christophe Schilling, Ph.D., CEO of Genomatica. “Her addition speaks to the caliber of expertise within our Genomatica team, where together with our Scientific Advisory Board, we are building a world-class technology platform as shown by the commercial realization of our process for BDO.”
Along with Dr. Arnold, Genomatica’s SAB includes Harvey Blanch, Ph.D., professor, department of chemical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley; George Church, Ph.D., professor, genetics at Harvard Medical School and director of the center for computational genetics; Bernhard Hauer, Ph.D., professor and director, Institute for Technical Biochemistry at University of Stuttgart ; Lee Hood, Ph.D., president of The Institute of Systems Biology; Sang Yup Lee, Ph.D, professor, department of chemical and biomolecular engineering at KAIST, Korea and 2013 Amgen Award recipient; Jens Nielsen, Ph.D., professor at Chalmers University of Technology in the department of chemical and biological engineering; and Bernhard Palsson, Ph.D. (SAB Chairman), Galetti professor of bioengineering and adjunct professor, medicine at the University of California, San Diego and director of the Novo Nordisk Center for Biosustainability.
In addition to its SAB, Genomatica also maintains an Engineering Advisory Council, which complements the SAB in areas such as process engineering, scale-up, and polymer chemistry.
Genomatica is a widely-acknowledged technology leader for the chemical industry. It delivers new manufacturing processes that enable its partners to produce high-volume intermediate and basic chemicals from renewable feedstocks. Genomatica’s processes are designed to achieve better economics and greater sustainability than petroleum-based manufacturing processes. Genomatica’s first process, for BDO, was used for commercial-scale production of 5 million pounds of BDO in November 2012 and Genomatica is establishing partnerships worldwide for production using its process. Additionally, Genomatica is developing a pipeline of manufacturing processes for other major chemicals; the next is for butadiene, with Versalis as partner. Genomatica’s accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation award, ICIS Top 40 ‘Ones to Watch’, the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, voted #1 Hottest two years in a row by Biofuels Digest, and being named a Best Place to Work by The Scientist.