Director's Message

26th Annual CBB Conference
"Advances in Biocatalytic Sciences: Attacking Societal Problems"

October 17, 2017
The University of Iowa 
Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa City, IA

Mark Arnold, Ph.D.

Advances in Biocatalytic Sciences:  Attacking Societal Problems is the title for the 26th annual conference of the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing (CBB).  A group of world-renowned speakers will present a series of seminars on topics that highlight the unique features of enzymes in the solution to long-standing problems in medicine, agriculture, and the environment.  The following mix of external and internal scientists will be featured in this year’s program: 

Professor Ali Salem, Bighley Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Head of the Division of Pharmaceutics and Translational Therapeutics (PTT) at The University of Iowa's College of Pharmacy, will talk about his research to develop gene-activated matrices to promote regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues, such as the bone and cartilage.

Dr. Ryan Kramer is a Senior Scientist at the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) where he serves as the manager of their Characterization and Product Development group.  His research centers on developing effective vaccines to treat and prevent diseases that impact human health in developing countries.

Dr. Susan Brockmeirer is a Research Veterinary Medical Officer in the National Animal Disease Center of the Agricultural Research Service, research branch of the USDA.  She will discuss the potential of emerging rational design strategies to develop the next generation of vaccines for animal health.

Professor Ulrich Schwaneberg is the Head of the Institute of Biotechnology at the RWTH Aachen University, in Aachen, Germany. His presentation will highlight state-of-the-art methods for engineering enzymes for targeted industrial applications and will include examples of lessons learned when extending the potential of enzymes to non-aqueous environments. 

Professor Greg LeFevre is establishing a research program in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the The University of Iowa.  His expertise centers on exploring the role and impact of biocatalytic-mediated transformation pathways on contaminants in water supplies.

In addition, three fellows of our Predoctoral Training Program, jointly sponsored by NIH and CBB, will present their research findings. 

A key feature of the Conference is a poster session, wherein students are encouraged to present their latest research findings.  Given the interdisciplinary nature of the CBB and its member faculty and students, the poster session provides a stimulating atmosphere to explore the scope of biocatalytic sciences.  All students on campus working in the area of Biocatalytic Sciences are encouraged to present a poster. 

For this poster session, Biocatalytic Sciences are broadly defined as those areas of basic and applied research that center on enzymes and their function within an array of disciplines, including: 1) discovery of new enzymes and understanding their mechanism of action at the molecular level, 2) exploration and applications of biochemical and cellular pathways, 3) design and manufacturing of biotherapeutics, such as vaccines for both human and animal health, 4) understanding and developing enzyme-mediated chemical transformations, 5) metabolic engineering, 6) directed evolution, 7) genomics, 8) agricultural feedstock utilization, and 9) expression, production and purification of protein products.

It is my pleasure to encourage all scientists and engineers interested in biocatalytic sciences to attend our 2017 CBB Conference.  The conference is scheduled for October 17th and will be located in the Iowa Memorial Union on the main campus of The University of Iowa.  Attendees – please register here 26th Annual CBB Conference Registration .  Potential sponsors are asked to contact Mitch Rotman (  


Mark Arnold, Ph.D.

Director; Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development, University of Iowa Research Park, Coralville, IA

Professor and Edwin B. Green Chair in Laser Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Chemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa, City , IA