BIO announced today that Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, Chief Executive Officer of the innovative carbon recycling company LanzaTech, has been selected by a committee of her peers to be the recipient of the 2015 BIO Rosalind Franklin Award. The Rosalind Franklin Award was established by BIO to honor an outstanding woman in the field of industrial biotechnology.
”To be honored in this way is incredibly humbling for me,” said Dr. Holmgren. “Throughout my career, I’ve been surrounded by teams, partners and investors who believe we can challenge the status quo and create an energy future that isn’t at odds with society or the environment. It is through that shared vision and collective wisdom that we are able to use industrial biotechnology to move forward on a path to the sustainable and equitable energy future our planet deserves.”
Rosalind Franklin’s use of X-ray diffraction images led to the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953. Her work was published alongside but not recognized as a contributing factor to Francis Crick’s and James Watson’s model of the structure of DNA. BIO’s 2015 Rosalind Franklin Award is sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society.
“Much like Rosalind Franklin, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren has always been motivated by achieving things that others said could not be done. Her drive knows no barriers,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “BIO is pleased to honor Dr. Holmgren for her accomplishments in the field of industrial biotechnology. We are looking forward to her delivering what is anticipated to be inspiring remarks during BIO’s World Congress.”
A special selection committee chose Dr. Jennifer Holmgren for her commitment to the advancement of the field of industrial biotechnology. Today, under Dr Holmgren’s guidance, LanzaTech is developing the world’s first alternative jet fuel from industrial waste gases using intermediates derived through industrial biotechnology.
LanzaTech’s process using steel mill waste gases at LanzaTech’s facility in China, with Shougang has been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB).
LanzaTech’s technology for producing fuel ethanol from steel mill off gases is ready for commercial deployment today. A 17M Gallons per annum commercial facility is planned for construction in Q4 2015, with China Steel in Taiwan, with the intention to scale up to a 34M Gallon per annum unit thereafter.
Dr Holmgren’s team has defined the genetic blueprint of gas fermenting organisms and demonstrated in the laboratory that they can be engineered to produce a range of novel, commercially valuable molecules. LanzaTech’s work is a cornerstone for the development of an entire industry that uses gas fermentation to convert a variety of wastes or low value resources into a diverse spectrum of low carbon fuels and chemicals.
Dr. Jennifer Holmgren holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Harvey Mudd College, a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. She is the author or co-author of 50 US patents and 20 scientific publications and was named as one of the top 10 most influential leaders in the Biofuels Industry by Biofuels Digest for 2013-2014.
The 2015 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology will be held July 19-22, 2015 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Canada. Industrial Biotechnology (Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers) Journal is the official publication for the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. The Rosalind Franklin Society is sponsoring the award.