News Column

UC San Diego Extension to Present Microbial Fermentation Workshop

July 9, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- The inscrutable ingredients found on the labels of salad dressings might seem of little consequence to our daily lives. Same with yogurt, running shoes, refrigerators, Spandex, electronics, plastics, latex gloves, automobile tires - even beer and wine (see also UC San Diego Extension).

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These products share a distinct commonality not readily apparent to consumers: the process of microbial fermentation, a critical component of industrial biotechnology, a sector of the economy that is rapidly growing.

UC San Diego's Center for Continuing Education in Biosciences (CCE|Bio) and UC San Diego Extension have jointly developed the Microbial Fermentation Workshop, set for July 30 through August 1, 2014 on the UC San Diego campus.

"The products of microbial fermentation are omnipresent in almost all aspects of our lives," said Jeff Lievense, a featured guest instructor who serves as executive vice president of technology at Genomatica, a San Diego-based biotech firm. "Broadly, it's all about the transformation of chemical substances such as bacteria, yeast, fungus and algae from one product to another."

The three-day immersion course provides a deep dive into bioreactor operations for microbial fermentations. The hands-on course will explore the application of biological principles to problems involving microbial growth systems. Participants will learn how to strategically plan and analyze experiments by investigating the most current statistical approaches to designing experiments.

The workshop is aimed at professionals who want to keep up with the latest developments, and desire to expand their current knowledge, improve their ability to problem-solve, and contribute to the experimental design process and modeling of bioprocesses within bioreactors. These professionals may have been part of other sectors of the biotech field, but are now seeking new opportunities to apply their skills.

This year's program features Dr. James Golden, Molecular Biology Professor of UC San Diego, along with distinguished faculty members from UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and MiraCosta College, north of San Diego.

In addition, participants will be able to make connections to industry through case studies presented by Genomatica executives. In addition, leaders from DCI-Biolafitte, a Minnesota-based biotech firm, will present fermenter demonstrations to complement the curriculum.

"Biotech is advancing so rapidly that we're doing things few people could imagine even ten years ago," said Lievense. "This is the most exciting time ever for biotechnology - that is, until the next decade, which will be even more exciting."

Keywords for this news article include: Biotechnology, UC San Diego Extension.

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Source: Biotech Week

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