TCU Place 35 -22nd St. East, Saskatoon, SK    

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Michael D. Lynch
Chief Scientific Officer
Rapid Optimization of Bioprocesses for the
Cost Superior Production of Bio-Based Chemicals
Monday, September 13, 2010
1:30 - 2:00 pm

Abstract:  As the demand for fuels and chemicals continues to increase, the biological production of products from renewable feedstocks has become a means of supplementing or even replacing a number of traditionally petroleum-based products. This growing field of bio-refining relies upon the use of microorganisms to convert renewable carbon sources into higher value products. Previously, bio-refining processes have sought to either exploit the native biosynthetic pathways of specific micro-organisms to produce valuable chemicals or have relied upon genetic engineering of micro-organisms to produce non-natural products. Commercial bio-processes have then been designed around these organisms, which are often costly due to the complex requirements of the microorganisms themselves. OPXBIO has developed several new high-resolution and comprehensive genomics tools that can be used to optimize industrial organisms and has applied these methods to construct several robust host microorganisms. In particular, OPXBIO has applied these strain engineering tools towards the economical production of 3-hydroxypropionic acid, which is a bio-product with several valuable market applications including the $7 Billion acrylic acid market. Our platform technology has facilitated the construction of microbial strains that are capable of producing commercially relevant titers of 3-hydroxypropionic acid in inexpensive growth conditions, which will enable a cost competitive bio-processing route to acrylic acid.

photo of Michael Lynch
Michael Lynch received his B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and an A.B. in Anthropology from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2000. He then went on to complete an M.D. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado in 2007. He was the founding scientist of OPXBIO in 2007 and currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer. Michael was the primary inventor of the EDGE technology platform platform that allows rapid assessment and engineering of robust strains for industrial biotechnology.. His work comprises the development of quantitative methodologies for strain engineering (SCALES), improved cloning tools with broad host range capabilities, and whole cell metabolic engineering strategies for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals. His innovative research has resulted in thirteen patent applications and seven publications since 2004.