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UC San Diego Extension to Hold Microbial Fermentation Workshop

UC San Diego Extension to Hold Microbial Fermentation Workshop


Industrial biotechnology is a large and fast-growing sector of biotechnology, making use of microbial fermentation to develop and produce a wide range of new, more sustainable transportation fuels, bulk and specialty chemicals and nutritional and cosmetic ingredients. To help more professionals understand and unlock the potential of microbial fermentation, the University of California San Diego Extension in partnership with UC San Diego’s Center for Continuing Education in Biosciences is holding its fourth annual Microbial Fermentation Workshop Aug. 17-19, 2016. To register, visit extension.ucsd.edu/sciences.

The three-day program will feature industry experts who have a combined 150 years of experience working in industry, said Jeff Lievense, senior engineering fellow at Genomatica, a local biotech firm.

“We will be offering lifetimes of expertise in three days,” said Lievense, one of the workshop’s six instructors. “There are people around the world who can benefit from this workshop, from biologists and engineers to business executives looking to capitalize on all the advances of this strategic technology.”

In addition, this year’s workshop will include a new twist – an afternoon field trip to White Labs, the ground-breaking San Diego pure yeast and fermentation company. The visit will include a case study on brewer’s yeast production followed by a beer tasting session.

“This field trip allows people taking the course to learn how fermentation principles are applied in brewing and to have some fun at the same time,” said Karen Fortmann, White Labs’ senior research scientist.

In its essence, microbial fermentation is the transformation of organic substances such as renewable plant sugars by microbes, including bacteria, yeast, fungi and algae, into everyday products. Advances in the field are reducing development times and costs, making an array of new and mind-bending innovations possible with an estimate of more than $100 billion in annual revenues for products such as biofuels, enzymes, biochemicals, and biomaterials.

The three-day workshop is one of the few, if only, such workshops in the world that focuses solely on fermentation for industrial applications and is taught by leading industrial practitioners. The workshop is intended for scientific, engineering, and business professionals with some prior fermentation-related experience who wish to expand their current knowledge; add essential tools for fermentation design, development, and scale-up; and improve their ability in practical problem solving.

Students will learn:

  • the biological principles behind microbial metabolism, growth, and genetic modification
  • the principles behind bioreactor design, operation, monitoring, control, and scale-up
  • how to improve fermentation performance through statistical design and analysis of experiments
  • a structured approach to downstream bioprocess design
  • bioprocess simulation and economics
  • how to solve real-world, industrial fermentation problems


  • James Golden, Ph.D., professor, molecular biology, UC San Diego
  • Jeff Lievense, Ph.D., senior engineering fellow, Genomatica
  • Michael Japs, MBS, director of commercial technology development, Genomatica
  • Jon Hansen, Ph.D., vice president, science and technology, Heliae
  • Tim Dodge, M.S., senior staff scientist, Dupont
  • Steve Kennedy, MBA, senior vice president, technical operations, Histogenics


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Terry Bunch Co founder of BeerAlien.com and Editor/Owner of MetalLife.comUntappd: metallife