Celebrating Excellence at JBEI

December 16, 2022

We held our annual meeting November 1-3, 2022 in Monterey, CA and virtually. Team members from all 13 JBEI partner organizations were in attendance to share their recent research milestones through talks and posters and discuss future directions and collaborations. In our closing session on November 3, CEO Jay Keasling recognized the outstanding achievements of JBEIers in fiscal year 2022.

Research ContributionFor Efforts toward a research goal that has made a positive impact to JBEI’s mission:

  • Kai Deng for synthesis of model compounds essential for the study of lignin-modifying enzymes
  • Flor Ercoli for advancements in root architecture
  • Yuan Zhang for development a successful CRISPR platform for cell wall GT discovery

Technical ContributionFor notable efforts toward technical goals that yield a positive impact to JBEI’s mission:

  • Hyun Gyu Lim for deploying the powerful ALE approach that provided JBEI with the most valuable set of conversion strains
  • Yang Tian for testing and characterizing sorghum in the face of significant obstacles

Citizenship ContributionFor fostering a positive working environment through helping colleagues, contributing to strong teams, and recognizing the need for diversity & inclusion in the workplace:

  • Jutta Dalton for creating an inclusive environment and fostering morale
  • Jinho Kim for providing training to JBEI staff and maintaining a variety of instruments

Customer Service For consistently demonstrating an outstanding customer service approach to helping:

  • Laboratory Operations Team including Will Toomey; Melanya Gudzeva; Matt Borglin; Cliff Ng; Mary Agnitsch; Breanna Hughes; Gabriel Cardoso; Peter Marietta; Rosanne Boudreau; Sadiki Showers for providing outstanding support to JBEI.

EH&SRecognized by peers for a commitment to safety on a daily basis:

  • Christopher Gee for his efforts on creating a mask program

Outreach and Community ContributionFor notable efforts toward communicating and promoting JBEI’s work and accomplishments to the local community, the broader community, educational institutions, and other external stakeholders:

  • Lorenzo Washington for his interactions with local schools and organizations
  • Sara Harmon for her efforts on iCLEM, with interns, and other outreach activities

Industry & Entrepreneurial ExcellenceFor notable efforts in fostering relationships between JBEI and industrial partners and enabling entrepreneurial Excellence in support of JBEI’s mission:

  • Hemant Choudhary for being the IP liaison for the Deconstruction portfolio
  • Jess Sustarich for co-founding a new JBEI spin-out, XLSI, which is going to bring the JBEI microfluidic technologies to market

Outstanding ROI/Patent – For Outstanding ROI/Patent:

  • Niklas Hummel for submitting a provisional patent on his work describing novel transcriptional effector domains from plants

Outstanding Publication – Most impactful publication from the last year:

  • Tom Lankiewicz for “ Genomic and functional analyses of fungal and bacterial consortia that enable lignocellulose breakdown in goat gut microbiomes”
  • Minliang Yang for “Comparing in planta accumulation with microbial routes to set targets for a cost-competitive bioeconomy.” 

Congratulations to all winners for the well-deserved recognition!