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Scripps President Michael Marletta to give seminar on his new research
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dr. Michael Marletta, president and CEO of The Scripps Research Institute and a 1973 graduate of SUNY Fredonia, will return to his alma mater to conduct a seminar, “Biofuel from Cellulose: Lessons from Fungi,” on Friday, May 10, 4 p.m., at Jewett Hall 101.

This research has the potential to lower the cost of biofuel production through the use of cellulose, which is found in plant structural material such as wood chips. Corn to currently used to generate biofuel ethanol, but the process has proven so far to be costly and inefficient. Use of inexpensive enzymes to break down cellulose would allow for economical production of fuel from waste or near-waste items. The high cost of using enzymes to convert starch into a sugar within a cellulose biomass is currently a major barrier to the production of second-generation biofuels.

Prior to accepting his current leadership position, Marletta was the Aldo DeBenedictis Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley. He previously held the title of John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Marletta received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California-San Francisco. At SUNY Fredonia, he earned an A.B. degree in Biology and Chemistry. Major awards and honors that Marletta has received include: National Academy of Science (2006), Harrison Howe Awardee (2004), Institute of Medicine (1999), Howard Hughes Investigator (1997) and MacArthur Fellows Program (1995).

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