Montreal, July 22nd 2015– At the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Congress in Montreal today, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, Chief Executive Officer of the innovative carbon recycling company LanzaTech, was awarded the 2015 BIO Rosalind Franklin Award. The Rosalind Franklin Award was established by BIO to honor an outstanding woman in the field of industrial biotechnology.
”To be honored in this way is incredibly humbling for me,” said Dr. Holmgren. “Throughout my career, I’ve been surrounded by teams, partners and investors who believe we can challenge the status quo and create an energy future that isn’t at odds with society or the environment. It is through that shared vision and collective wisdom that we are able to use industrial biotechnology to move forward on a path to the sustainable and equitable energy future our planet deserves.”
“Much like Rosalind Franklin, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren has always been motivated by achieving things that others said could not be done. Her drive knows no barriers,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “BIO is pleased to honor Dr. Holmgren for her accomplishments in the field of industrial biotechnology. We are looking forward to her delivering what is anticipated to be inspiring remarks during BIO’s World Congress.”
“The Rosalind Franklin Society is committed to advancing women’s careers in the life sciences in academia and industry. BIO’s establishment of the Rosalind Franklin Award attests to the importance of opportunities that are rich with potential and achievement in the field of industrial biotechnology,” said Mary Ann Liebert, president of the company that bears her name. The Rosalind Franklin Society was founded by Ms. Liebert in 2009.
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishes Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN); Industrial Biotechnology; and 80 peer reviewed journals. “Dr. Holmgren exemplifies the goals of this honorific society, and we applaud her significant recognition,” said Ms. Liebert.
Rosalind Franklin’s use of X-ray diffraction images led to the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953. Her work was published alongside but not recognized as a contributing factor to Francis Crick’s and James Watson’s model of the structure of DNA. BIO’s 2015 Rosalind Franklin Award is sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society.
A special selection committee chose Dr. Jennifer Holmgren for her commitment to the advancement of the field of industrial biotechnology.
Dr Holmgren’s team, recent recipients of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Award for greener synthetic pathways, has defined the genetic blueprint of gas fermenting organisms and demonstrated in the laboratory that they can be engineered to produce a range of novel, commercially valuable molecules. LanzaTech’s work is a cornerstone for the development of an entire industry that uses gas fermentation to convert a variety of wastes or low value resources into a diverse spectrum of low carbon fuels and chemicals. LanzaTech’s technology for producing fuel ethanol from steel mill off gases is ready for commercial deployment today, with facilities targeted in Europe with world’s largest steel company, ArcelorMittal and in Taiwan with China Steel.