Distinguished Speaker

Jay D. Keasling, UC Berkeley/LBNL

Jay D. Keasling, Chief Executive Officer of the Joint BioEnergy Institute and professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering at the UC Berkeley

Jay D. Keasling is a professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also associate laboratory director for biosciences at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and chief executive officer of the Joint BioEnergy Institute. He is considered one of the foremost authorities in synthetic biology, especially in the field of metabolic engineering.

A pioneer in the field of synthetic biology, Keasling’s research focuses on engineering microorganisms to produce useful chemicals. During the early 2000s, Keasling led a UC Berkeley research team that engineered yeast to synthetically produce artemisinin, the powerful anti-malarial drug. Researchers in his group are now using the same technology to produce biofuels and bioproducts from lignocellulosic biomass.

Keasling was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2010 for developing synthetic biology tools to engineer the antimalarial drug artemisinin.