2019 IBE Annual Conference

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2019 IBE Annual Conference
April 4 - 6, 2019
Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St Louis
7730 Bonhomme Avenue
St Louis, Missouri

Friday Keynote Speaker

Himadri B. Pakrasi, Ph. D., is currently the Myron and Sonya Glassberg/Albert and Blanche Greensfelder Distinguished University Professor and Director of the International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (InCEES) at the Washington University in St. Louis. Pakrasi is a biochemist recognized for his work on photosynthesis and bioenergy production. He has a keen interest in bridging the differences between the biological and physical sciences, and leads large-scale multi-institutional synthetic and systems biology projects.

The Pakrasi Lab is interested in studying photosynthetic organisms that are the primary producers in our biosphere. During recent years, the research group has focused on cyanobacteria, prokaryotic organisms that perform oxygenic photosynthesis and are the progenitors of chloroplasts in plants and algae. The investigations span multiple disciplines. They study energy transducing molecular machines such as Photosystem II, the unique membrane protein complex that catalyzes splitting of water to molecular oxygen. They also deploy cutting edge tools of synthetic and systems biology to understand the inner workings of cyanobacterial cells that are emerging as attractive biocatalysts for sustainable, carbon neutral production of food, feed and fuels.

In 2018 he was appointed to the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science’s Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC) and joined the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Public Affairs Advisory Committee. Professor Pakrasi has been an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at Munich University, Germany; a Distinguished Fellow at the Biosciences Institute, Nagoya University, Japan; and a Lady David Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Microbiology and a Wiley Fellow at the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Pakrasi serves as the Washington University ambassador from the McDonnell International Scholars Academy to the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in India.

Saturday Keynote Speaker

How Will Innovative Methods in Improving Stress Tolerance of Plants Change the Face of Agriculture, and Who Cares?
Agricultural systems have experienced significant shift in recent years from a supply-driven paradigm to an integrated social, economic, and environmental scheme. While global demand of healthy foods rise with population growth, there are serious concerns about the availability, affordability, accessibility, and accountability of healthy foods (particularly fresh vegetables and fruits) across our nation. This presentation will begin with sharing some insights of the most recent Farm Bill with respect to the U.S. farming activities, socio-economical characteristics of rural/urban agricultural profiles, and challenges and barriers for small farms in disadvantaged communities. More discussions will focus on identifying knowledge gaps of existing sustainable management strategies of farming, followed by envisioning the applications of bionanotechnology and innovative data-driven platforms such as using new materials to measure stress tolerance in plants to alleviate financial vulnerability and personal/family/community anxiety created by climate variations, human interventions, and ecological transitions.

Dr. Kathleen Liang received her MS and PhD from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. She is an award-winning educator and the Founder of Dollar Enterprise, who has designed, developed, and implemented one of the most innovative entrepreneurship programs in the US. For more than 30 years, Dr. Liang has been engaged in interdisciplinary and integrated research, teaching, and outreach projects to tackle issues such as multifunctional agriculture, food deserts, food networks, and incorporating Big Data in solving challenges coupled in human systems and natural systems. She has lived in some of the most rural, disadvantaged communities in the US, to assist communities establishing creative strategies without sufficient resources. Dr. Liang has received funding from USDA, NSF, Kellogg Foundation, and other organizations to explore new knowledge in agriculture and community development through integrated scientific approaches. In her spare time, Dr. Liang enjoys cooking, singing, traveling, hiking, painting, reading/writing stories, and working with anyone who loves good foods.

Technical Sessions

Tracks for the Technical Sessions are:
  • 3 Minute Thesis Competition
  • Advances in Biological Engineering Education Practices
  • Biochemical Conversion Technologies
  • Bioenvironmental Engineering
  • Bioethics Essay Competition
  • Biomaterials Engineering - Tissue Engineering
  • Biomaterials Engineering - Nanomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering - Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Engineering - Drug and Nucleic Acid Delivery
  • Biomedical Engineering - Imaging Techniques
  • Biomedical Engineering - Neurological Engineering
  • Bionanotechnology
  • Biosensors & Diagnostics - Human Health
  • Biosensors & Diagnostics - High-Throughput Phenotyping
  • Biosensors & Diagnostics - Environmental Monitoring
  • Food Engineering
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Poster Session - Senior Design, iGEM
  • Student Video Competition