Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday, October 30th at 7:30pm in the back room at Yagger’s Downtown (433 W Pender). Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Vikramaditya G. Yadav from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC. His topic will be:

Solving some of Canada’s grandest challenges with synthetic biology

A warming climate, unrepressed mining and logging, contamination of our water resources, the uncertain price and tight supply of crude oil and the growing threat of epidemics are having a profound, negative impact on the well-being of Canadians. There is an urgent need to develop and implement sustainable manufacturing technologies that can not only meet our material and energy needs, but also sustain our quality of life. Romantic and unbelievable as it sounds, Nature posses all the answer to our challenges, and the coming decades in science and engineering will be typified by our attempts to mimic or recruit biology to address our needs. This talk will present a vivid snapshot of current and emerging research towards this goal and highlight some cutting-edge technologies under development at the University of British Columbia.

When he joined the University of Waterloo as an undergraduate student in chemical engineering, Dr. Vikramaditya G. Yadav coveted a career in Alberta’s burgeoning petrochemical sector. He even interned at Imperial Oil during his first summer break from university. Then, one fine evening during second year, he stumbled upon a copy of Juan Enríquez’s As the Future Catches You in the library and became instantly captivated with biological engineering. His journey over the past few years has taken him to Sanofi Pasteur, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and finally, the University of British Columbia, where he now leads a wonderful group of researchers working on wide-ranging topics at the interface of biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine and economics.


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