Maureen McCann is Director of the Biosciences Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. She came to NREL from Purdue University where she was a Professor of Biological Sciences, Director of Purdue’s NEPTUNE Center for Power and Energy, funded by the Office of Naval Research, and Director of Purdue’s Energy Center. Maureen also served as the Director of the Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels (C3Bio), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Prior to joining the faculty at Purdue, she was a project leader at the John Innes Centre Norwich, U.K., a government-funded research institute for plant and microbial sciences, funded by The Royal Society with a University Research Fellowship. She received her undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, U.K., and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of East Anglia, UK. Her lab explores synthetic biology and genetic engineering approaches to optimize cell wall and biomass structure for conversion processes to fuels, chemicals, and materials.
Monday July 19
Symposium I: Powering an rDNA-enabled, biomass-based, and circular bioeconomy
By 2050, global annual demand for materials resources (fossil fuels, metal ores, minerals and biomass) is predicted to triple with associated impacts on energy, land and water use, greenhouse-gas emissions and waste flows. How can we re-design all of the physical inputs for a circular economy, such that future materials can be deconstructed at the end of their useful lives and the subunits re-cycled or re-purposed? This Symposium will explore how discoveries in systems and synthetic biology are enabling replacement of fuels, chemicals and materials with products synthesized by plants and microbes, bio-hybrid and cell-free systems.