Jay Keasling Awarded Bakar Prize

March 13, 2024
By Sara Harmon

Jay Keasling, JBEI’s CEO and a professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering at UC Berkeley,  has been awarded a 2024 Bakar Prize to engineer bacteria to produce probiotics to treat skin diseases caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. The prize is awarded to UC Berkeley faculty who are also former Bakar Fellows to commercialize research with significant potential for positive societal impact.  

This project is an expansion of Keasling’s 2021 Bakar Fellows Spark Award that focused on engineering bacteria to produce topical antibiotics to treat serious skin conditions such as Netherton Syndrome. Netheron is a rare hereditary disorder, often fatal in infants, that keeps the epidermis from functioning properly, leaving it susceptible to severe skin infections.