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Sapphire Energy Names New Scientific Advisory Board

SAN DIEGO, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sapphire Energy, Inc. today welcomed new members to its Scientific Advisory Board as the company readies its first algae-to-energy commercial demonstration facility.The new board members represent some of the most innovative  academics across key scientific and engineering disciplines, including chemistry, molecular biology, plant biology, biotechnology, and chemical engineering. The board includes four members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Individual members have received the Lasker Award, Kyoto Prize, Heinz Award, NAE Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ Prize, and the Nobel Prize. As members, they will play an active role advising Sapphire as it refines its developmental process and technologies for making algae-based Green Crude a viable alternative fuel solution to significantly alleviate the nation's need for foreign crude oil.

New members joining Sapphire's Scientific Advisory Board include:

  • Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph. D., president and co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. Dr. Hood will also serve as board chair.
  • Roger Y. Tsien, Ph. D., investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor of pharmacology and of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego.
  • Matthew Croughan, Ph. D., George B. and Joy Rathmann professor and director and founder of the Amgen Bioprocessing Center at Keck Graduate Institute.
  • H. Scott Fogler, Ph. D., Ame and Catherine Vennema professor of chemical engineering, and Arthur F. Thurnau professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

They join current board members: Joanne Chory, Ph. D., investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and professor and director, Howard H. and Maryam R. Newman chair in Plant Biology, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Stephen Mayfield, Ph. D., director of the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology and John Doves Isaacs chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego; and Steven Briggs, Ph. D., distinguished professor of Cell & Developmental Biology at the University of California, San Diego.

"Since our founding, the research community has been very supportive of Sapphire Energy's algae-to-oil solution and its potential to positively impact the ever-growing demand for alternative fuels to meet future energy supply needs, both nationally and worldwide," said Alex Aravanis, vice president of technology at Sapphire Energy. "Given the many intricate complexities of cultivating algae at such a massive scale and ever-changing technology advancements, it's imperative that we have the best scientific and engineering minds working with us as we move towards commercialization. We're honored to have such a distinguished group of individuals on board with us."

For complete biographical information on each of the board members, please visit

About Sapphire Energy

San Diego-based Sapphire Energy is pioneering an entirely new industry – Green Crude – production with the potential to profoundly change America's energy and petrochemical landscape for the better. Sapphire's products and processes in this category differ significantly from other forms of biofuel because they are made solely from photosynthetic microorganisms (algae and cyanobacteria), using sunlight and CO2 as their feedstock; are not dependent on food crops or valuable farmland; do not use potable water; do not result in biodiesel or ethanol; enhance and replace petroleum-based products; are compatible with existing infrastructure; and are low carbon, renewable and scalable. Sapphire has an R&D facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and is currently building the first Integrated Algal BioRefinery in Columbus, New Mexico. For more information, visit or

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SOURCE Sapphire Energy, Inc.
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