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The golden age of biotechnology: sustainable production of fine chemicals

2020 Ferrier Public Lecture

Fine chemicals are important starting materials used by a range of industries for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Traditionally produced from petrochemicals, biotechnical processes using renewable biomass are increasingly able to provide cheaper and more sustainable alternatives.

Hear how new biocatalysts, which can mimic the complex biosynthetic pathways found in nature, are being discovered using genomic databases and protein engineering, including directed evolution—a technique developed by 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner, Prof. Frances Arnold.

Introducing Professors Nicholas J Turner & Sabine L Flitsch

Professors of Chemical Biology, Nicholas Turner and Sabine Flitsch are researchers at the University of Manchester's School of Chemistry and Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, with a shared interest in biotechnology, carbohydrate chemistry, and the use of enzymes as biocatalysts for organic synthesis. Sabine has received several awards for her research achievements, including the Astra Zeneca award, GSK award, Wolfson Award, and RSC Interdisciplinary Prize. Nicholas is also the Director of the Centre of Excellence in Biocatalysis and co-Director of SYNBIOCHEM. He is a member of several Scientific Advisory Boards, has received many awards for his research achievements and consults widely in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industry.

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Nicholas J Turner & Sabine L Flitsch



Ferrier Research Institute


Lecture Theatre 1, Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington

5:30pm Mon 17 February, 2020 - 7:30pm Mon 17 February, 2020