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Jay Keasling wins Heinz Award
Date:9/12/2012

who was honored in the Technology, the Economy and Employment category, joins a distinguished classical/modern music composer, an advocate for smarter community design, a champion of diversity in science education, and an architect of responsible climate policies in this year's class of Heinz Award winners.

"I am deeply honored by the recognition of my work by the Heinz Foundation," Keasling said. "The work they have recognized was done by so many motivated, dedicated people in my laboratory, people from Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, Amyris, OneWorld Health, Sanofi-Aventis and JBEI. These collaborative efforts are great examples of the importance of team science in biology."

Paul Alivisatos, director of Berkeley Lab and a long-time friend and colleague of Keasling said, "Jay Keasling has used his groundbreaking work in synthetic biology to improve the lives of millions of people in some of the most impoverished places on earth, making him a true science hero and most deserving of the Heinz Award. He is an exemplar of Berkeley Lab, who is now using teamwork and synthetic biology to tackle another critical issue of our day: how to harness renewable energy in a clean, economical and scalable fashion."

Graham Fleming, UC Berkeley's Vice Chancellor for Research, who in 2003 named Keasling to head his newly formed Synthetic Biology Department, the world's first such department in a major scientific research institute, said: "Jay Keasling exemplifies the combination of scientific virtuosity with a strong sense of social mission to improve the human condition. He is an inspiration to aspiring and practicing scientists alike."

Synthetic biology is an emerging field of science aimed at engineering microorganisms to produce valuable chemical products from simple, inexpensive and renewable starting materials in a sustainable manner. This can include the design and construction of new biological "devices," such as molecules, genetic circuits or
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Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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