Jay Keasling, co-leader of Berkeley Lab's Helios Project, is a groundbreaking researcher in the new scientific field of synthetic biology. In Helios, he directs the biology program, incorporating a range of approaches to increasing the efficacy and economy of plants and cellulose-degrading microbes to make solar-based fuels. He is a UC Berkeley professor of Chemical and Bioengineering, and founder of Amyris Biotechnologies, a company that was honored as a Technology Pioneer for 2006 by the World Economic Forum. Keasling has succeeded in using synthetic biology to develop a yeast-based production scheme for precursors of the antimalarial drug artemisinin in work funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His talk was presented June 4, 2007.
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