Navigation Links
UCLA's Yi Tang receives Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from EPA
Date:6/19/2012

Yi Tang, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences, has been awarded the prestigious 2012 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The annual award recognizes pioneering chemical technologies developed by leading researchers and industrial innovators who are making significant contributions to pollution prevention in the U.S. including the design of safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes and products that will protect citizens from exposure to harmful materials.

Tang's winning technology resulted in a new, less-hazardous manufacturing process for simvastatin, a leading cholesterol-lowering statin drug.

"Yi's innovative research in the area of natural product biosynthesis and biocatalysis will not only lead to significant improvements in health care and medicine but will also lead to a safer and healthier global environment," said Vijay K. Dhir, dean of UCLA Engineering. "We are proud of the recognition and the important contributions he continues to make."

In 2006, simvastatin, originally developed by Merck, was the second-largest selling statin in the world, bringing in approximately $5 billion in sales. Today, it is the most frequently prescribed statin, with more than 94 million prescriptions filled in 2010, according to industry tracker IMS Health.

Though the drug is manufactured from a natural product, the traditional synthesis was a wasteful, multi-step chemical process that used large amounts of hazardous reagents.

Tang conceived of a synthesis that instead used an engineered enzyme and a practical, low-cost feedstock. He partnered with Codexis Inc. a developer of industrial enzymes that enable the cost-advantaged production of biofuels, bio-based chemicals and pharmaceutical intermediates to optimize both the enzyme and the chemical process for commercial use. Codexis will also be presented with the EPA award as part of this collaboration.

"Receiving this award shows the impact that can be made in a highly synergistic collaboration between academic and industrial research teams," Tang said. "The development and optimization of the process have been highly rewarding for my research group. Receiving this recognition from the EPA two years after my colleague James Liao received the same award is a strong testament to the quality and impact of the research that is being conducted in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA."

James Liao, who hold's UCLA's Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Chair in Chemical Engineering, was the first UCLA professor to receive the award in the program's 15-year history. He was recognized in 2010 for his groundbreaking work recycling carbon dioxide for the biosynthesis of higher alcohols that can be used as alternative-transportation fuels or chemical feedstock.

"Working with Professor Tang to develop this breakthrough biocatalytic process is proof of the practical results that can be delivered by academicindustrial partnerships," said Gjalt Huisman, Ph.D., vice president of product planning for pharmaceuticals at Codexis. "This is Codexis' third Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in the last six years and was only possible through our collaboration with Dr. Tang and applying our CodeEvolverdirected evolution technology platform to enable the resulting positive environmental impacts."

The resulting process, which has already produced more than 10 metric tons of simvastatin, greatly reduces hazard and waste, is cost-effective, and meets the needs of millions of consumers. At present, the process is being used in Europe and India, and it may eventually lead to an annual production of several hundreds of tons of simvastatin.

Tang, an expert on natural product biochemistry, engineered biosynthesis, biocatalysis and protein engineering, and biomaterials, has won several notable awards, including the David and Lucille Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, the National Institutes of Health's Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, a Sloan Research Fellowship and, most recently, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society.

Tang and his group have published several papers in prominent peer-reviewed journals including Science, Nature, Chemical Biology and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on smart nanocapsule delivery systems for use in protein therapy; the use of E. coli to produce antibiotic and anticancer drugs; and the successful reconstitution of enzymes to synthesize lovastatin. Simvastatin is a semi-synthetic derivative of lovastatin.

By recognizing groundbreaking scientific solutions to real-world environmental problems, the EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Program has, over nearly two decades, managed to significantly reduce the hazards associated with designing, manufacturing and using chemicals.

According to the EPA, winning technologies like Tang's, are responsible for reducing the use or generation of more than 199 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water and eliminating 57 million pounds of carbon dioxide, in addition to significant energy and cost savings.


'/>"/>
Contact: Wileen Wong Kromhout
wwkromhout@support.ucla.edu
310-206-0540
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Leading statistician receives national citation award
2. Dr. Karen Lloyd receives WHOIs Holger W. Jannasch Visiting Scholar Award
3. SF State biology department receives $1.5 million to support science teaching
4. SRI Sarnoffs Iris on the Move® N-Glance™ Identification System Receives Lenel Factory Certification
5. Washington University receives $8 million to lead international childhood malnutrition effort
6. UC Riverside receives grant for global health and development research
7. UC Riverside plant cell biologist receives top scientific honor
8. Carnegies Wolf B. Frommer receives Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology
9. Gladstone scientist Warner C. Greene receives Washington University School of Medicine Alumni Award
10. UF receives $1 million from Keck Foundation to study mechanisms of inherited disease
11. Renowned geneticist R. Rodney Howell receives ACMG Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Michael Johnson, co-founder of Visikol Inc. a company ... has been named to the elite "Forbes 30 Under 30" list ... 600 people in 20 fields nationwide to be recognized as a ... applicants were selected. ... He is currently a PhD candidate at Rutgers University. ...
(Date:1/4/2017)...  CES 2017 – Valencell , the leading ... the launch of two new versions of its ... sensor modules that incorporate the best of Valencell,s ... The two new designs include Benchmark BE2.0, a ... Benchmark BW2.0, a 2-LED version of its original ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... N.C. and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biometric data sensor technology, and STMicroelectronics ... the spectrum of electronics applications, announced today the ... development kit for biometric wearables that includes ST,s ... with Valencell,s Benchmark™ biometric sensor system. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Jan. 21, 2017   ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... lead investigational compound, napabucasin, at the 2017 American Society ... San Francisco . In ... administered investigational agent designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 ... market conditions have influenced the most recent performances of ... Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLS ), Abeona Therapeutics Inc. ... TBPH ), and Sage Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... report by Grand View Research, global Biotech market size is expected ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 ... cancer is one of leading causes of death worldwide. ... Although the number of cancer related deaths increased gradually ... Rising in incidence rate of various cancers continues to ... a research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. cancer ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Application - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022" report ... ... projected to reach $15,737 million by 2022 from $6,521 in 2015, ... Omic technologies segment accounted for more than half of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: