Microbial Engineering

A New ECI Conference

March 4-8, 2018
LaFonda on the Plaza
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Emerging Program         Register Now!

Call For Abstracts:  Deadlines:  Oral -December 31; Poster-Jan. 28

Obtaining a Visa to the United States

Please forward this link to colleagues who may be interested in the conference topic.

Precautions regarding “High-altitude Sickness

About this Conference

Advances in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering have created many new opportunities for using microbes as hosts. It has become possible to make entirely new products or to radically improve processes for making existing products not only in terms of increased production but also the enhanced quality of the outcome.

This conference will highlight the cell and process engineering required to create these new microbes and will illustrate the benefits and challenges using Case Studies. We will learn about progress from various fields, including:

  • Vaccines
  • Primary Metabolites
  • Secondary Metabolites
  • Therapeutic Proteins
  • Biofuels
  • Biopolymers

The Case Studies will further provide the opportunity to illustrate the integration of various activities such as analytics, downstream purification, scale-up, and high throughput screening in order to achieve successful commercialization.

Keynote Speakers (confirmed)

John Aunins (CTO, Seres Therapeutics)
“Development of Live Bacterial Therapeutics”

Jay Keasling (University of California-Berkeley)
“Engineered Polyketide Synthases for Production of Commodity and Specialty Chemical”

Chris Love (Koch Institute at MIT)
“Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals in the Age of Acceleration”

Hari Pujar (Moderna)
“mRNA Vaccines and Therapeutics: On the Progress from Promise to Reality”

Christina Smolke (Antheia)
New Bio-Based Supply Chains for Plant Based Medicines

Jim Swartz (Stanford University)
“Opening Microbial Cells Expands Their Capabilities”

Emerging Program (January 16, 2018)

Conference check-in is scheduled for 4 pm on Sunday, March 4.

The conference is expected to end with breakfast on Thursday, March 8.

Advances in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering have created many new opportunities for using microbes as hosts. It has become possible to make entirely new products or to radically improve processes for making existing products, not only in terms of increased production but also the enhanced quality of the outcome. Our goal is to highlight recent advances in Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering as well as to address the challenges for successful commercialization. These challenges include Development  and Scale-up of Fermentations, development of streamlined purification processes and rapid analytics combined with sophisticated process control.


Session Chairs: Barry Buckland (UCL) and Tiffany Rau  (BioProcess Technology Consultants (BPTC))

Invited Speakers:

Kerry Love (MIT): Rational design of expression vectors for high quality biologics

Russell Coleman (Pfenex Inc.): A Pseudomonas fluorescens based platform for
robust vaccine manufacturing

Akshay Goel (Biological E): Microbial expression of CRM proteins

Alvaro Lara (UAM, Mexico):  High-yield plasmid DNA production under oxygen limitation  using microaerobically-induced replication

Tracie Spangler (Merck & Co., Inc.):  Computational fluid dynamics modeling for fermentation risk reduction during technology transfer and risk understanding

Our ability to develop targeted antigens in microbial hosts effective as vaccines steadily increases as our knowledge of biology increases.  At the same time due to increase travel, population density and climate change we see an increase in emerging disease threats to our health.  Many opportunities exist for the application of microbial hosts to make carbohydrates, proteins, DNA and RNA.


Session Chairs: Brigitte Gasser (BOKU, Austria) and Arindam Bose (Previously Pfizer)

Invited Speakers:

Shawn Jones (Whitedog Labs): Improving biochemical yields with Mixoferm

Brian F. Pfleger (University of Wisconsin-Madison): Metabolic  strategies for oleochemicals

Volker Wendisch (Bielefeld University);  Systems metabolic engineering of Corynebacterium lutamicum and Bacillus methanolicus for production

Hariharan Dandapani (Uni Turku, Finland):  Cyanobacteria as photosynthetic factories:  Synthetic biology methods in the development of next-generation production platforms

Zhixia Ye (Momentum):  Microbial optimization via metabolic network minimization


Session Chairs: Yi Tang (UCLA) and Beth Junker (Bioprocess Advantage)

Invited Speakers:

Ben Shen (Scripps, Florida): Natural products by synthetic biology and microbial engineering

Scott Doncaster (Biovectra):  Scale up of low-producing potent secondary metabolites

Juan Asenjo (University of Chile): Microbial engineering of new Streptomyces Sp. from extreme environments for novel antibiotics and anticancer drugs

Yi Tang (UCLA):  Genome-guided methods for discovering new natural products from fungi

Mark Mikola (Dow):  An integrated strain improvement and process development program for the production of UK-2A, the precursor of the fungicide Inatreq™ active

Hsien-Chung Tseng (Manus Biosythesis):  An effecient commercial platform for microbial engineering of natural products

Natural Products such as antibiotics have been a main building block in the pharmaceutical industry for many decades. This continues with the demonstrated ability to develop much more efficient microbial based processes for manufacture of drugs such as artemesin for malaria and also opiates for pain treatment. Whole new metabolic pathways can be created using modern biology tools and this opens up many possibilities.


Session Chairs: Karen Polizzi (Imperial College), Eli Keshavarz-Moore (UCL), and Michael Hohn  (Merck)

Invited Speakers:

Neil Dixon (Manchester):  Matching secretion capacity via translation control

Tony Hitchcock (Cobra Bio): (TBA)

Roland Prielhofer (BOKU):  Promoter and process engineering for recombinant protein production in Pichia pastoris towards simple, fast and methanol-free cultivation regimes and high product titers

Jia-Ming Chang (Development Center for Biotechnology Taiwan):  Gram level scFv expression platform of Pichia pastoris

Emily Dong (Genentech): Learning from the Mammalian Expression System to develop a high titer-half antibody process in E. coli

Ronen Tchelet (Dyadic):  C1: How the C1 platform will change the production approach for therapeutic proteins

Hanxiao Jiang (Amyris):  Antibody production in micro-organisms

Ying Buechler (aTyro Pharma):  Process optimization, manufacturing changes from early to late phase development, and comparibility of Resolaris

Many therapeutic proteins traditionally consist of a mixture of glycoforms. This has been a barrier for using microbial hosts but can also be viewed as an advantage. A microbial host can be used to make a specific glycoform without the presence of less biologically active glycoforms. Also, speed can be much faster with a microbial host compared to traditional animal cell culture hosts.


Session Chairs: Behnam Taidi (CentraleSupelec) and Joel Cherry (Amyris)

Invited Speakers:

Michael Japs (Genomatica):  The development of 1,4-butandiol at Genomatica

Behnam Taidi (CentraleSupelec Paris):  The circular bio economy and the concept of biorefinery

Ben Kaufman and Joel Cherry (Amyris):  Automating Bioengineering: first the hands, then the head

Jawed Yazdani (ICGEB, Rensselaer):  Exploiting fatty acid metabolic pathways for production of short chain fatty acids in E. Coli

We can project many potential answers to our challenge of providing energy without burning fossil fuels by switching to renewable sources for making electricity. However, for air travel, we need a renewable source of biofuel to replace the current fossil fuel based supply.

With advances in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, we are seeing a vast number of opportunities to manufacture useful polymers in a more sustainable way. Some examples will be given in this session.

6. MICROBIOME (mini session)

Paul Miller (Synlogic): Engineering of probiotic E. coli to treat metabolic disorders

WORKSHOP- Leap-frogging microbial fermentation applications-what is needed, who can develop it, and how will it move the dial?

Discussion to include: Equipment, CMO’s, and how to drive to low Cost of Goods


Co-Chairs:  Darren Nesbeth (UCL) and Stefanie Frank (UCL)

Conference Organization


Prof. Eli Keshavarz-Moore , University College London, England
Dr. Barry Buckland, BiologicB, USA

Organizing Committee:

Dicky Abraham (Merck) USA
Arindam Bose (Previously Pfizer, now Consultant), USA
Tim Charlebois (Pfizer) USA
Brigitte Gasser  (BOKU) Austria
Akshay Goel (Biologic E) India
Peter Gray  (AIBN, University of Queensland) Australia
Wayne Herber  (Assembly Biosciences), USA
Beth Junker (BioProcess Advantage LLC), USA
Chris Love (Koch Institute at MIT), USA
Gautam Nayar  (BMS), USA
Darren Nesbeth (University College London), UK
Karen Polizzi (IC), UK
Tiffany Rau  (BioProcess Technology Consultants (BPTC)), USA
Natarajan Sethuraman (Previously GlycoFi ; now Consultant), USA
Daniel Smith  (Cobra Biologics), UK
Jim Swartz  (Stanford University), USA
Behnam Taidi  (CentraleSupélec), France

Abstract Submission

One-page abstracts should be submitted as soon as possible and no later than the deadlines noted below.  The abstract should include both the significance of the research as well as results that will be discussed to allow a scientific assessment of the work by the organizers. Please indicate the session for which you are submitting your abstract and whether the abstract should be considered for an oral or poster presentation. Only a limited number of oral presentation slots are available.  Thus all submissions for oral presentations will be considered for both oral and poster.

Deadline for abstracts for oral presentations:                     December 31, 2017
Deadline for abstracts for poster presentations:                January 28, 2018

Please prepared your abstract according to this template: docx or doc.

All abstracts should be submitted electronically and submissions must follow the template provided at this link.

There will be a poster competition for the Best Student Poster and Best Overall Poster.  More details will be announced.

Major Sponsors

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Sponsorship Levels

Click HERE to view sponsorship levels.

Conference Venue

Santa Fe, New Mexico:  Santa Fe is a world-renowned travel destination with an17BA Hotel Photo of Dancers unparalleled richness of history, heritage, arts and culture.  Founded around 1608 it is the oldest state capital in the United States, and sits in the foothills of the Sangre de Christo Mountains.  Santa Fe boasts a rich mix of culture, art and history as well as an average of 300 days of sunshine and blue sky per year.  The Spanish engrained their culture and heritage upon the landscape and the city has proudly carried on Spanish traditions ever since.

The conference hotel (LaFonda) is the only Santa Fe hotel situated on the historic Santa Fe Plaza.  The Plaza was the central place around which Spanish officials built houses and barracks.  The Palace of the Governors, constructed soon after the Plaza was established, still stands on the Plaza’s north size, and is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States.

As a major tourist destination Santa Fe offers a diverse array of activities.  16AI Santa Fe imagesIt is particularly known for its museums and art galleries, variety of restaurants, cultural activities and outdoor activities.  Among the museums are the Museum of International Folk Art, New Mexico History Museum, Museum of Indian Women in the Arts, Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Palace of the Governors (featuring a long colonnade used by local Pueblo Indians to sell handmade jewelry and wares, and hosts a museum filled with artifacts from Santa Fe’s early history, including weapons and armor from the original conquistadors), and Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.

Sante Fe is a city of art and artists, featuring more than 200 art galleries within a two-mile radius and multiple world-class museums such as the Georgia O’Keefe MuseumNew Mexico Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.  A stroll down the world-famous Canyon Road, with its restaurants, galleries and workshops, yields the full spectrum of work, from modern to tribal, paintings to sculptures, and everything in between.

Nowhere is Santa Fe’s Spanish influence more visible than the red-hued adobe walls of San Miguel Mission, built between 1610 and 1626.  The church, which is the oldest in the United States, has all of the hallmarks of the original Spanish settlement: richly adorned vigas, thick adobe walls and deeply religious iconography, including a wooden statue of St. Michael that dates to 1709.  Surrounding the mission is the Barrio De Analeo Historic District, with several homes dating back to the same period.

The city’s tight Colonial layout, centered on The Plaza, is extremely walkable, making attractions accessible to all.

For more information, please visit the official Santa Fe Convention and Visitors web site.

Nearby are additional attractions of interest, including:

  • The Bandelier National Monument provides the opportunity to see cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and other Native American artifacts and structures.
  • The town of Los Alamos is home of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Bradbury Science Museum which is operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  • NY Times (January 15, 2017) “Beyond Santa Fe, A Different World
  • 16AI gallery_gift-shop-la-fonda-plaza_0LaFonda on the Plaza:  LaFonda on the Plaza holds a coveted place in Santa Fe history, a component in a rich tapestry of hospitality that predates American independence.  City records indicate that La Fonda sits on the site of the town’s first inn, established when the city was founded by Spaniads in 1607, making the property the oldest hotel corner in America. LaFonda’s history can be traced back 400 years.  In 1821, Captain William Becknell and his party found their way to the LaFonda during the maiden commercial route across the plains from Missouri, establishing the Santa Fe Trail as well as La Fonda’s reputation for hospitality.  Throughout the 19th century, La Fonda quickly became the preferred lodging option among trappers, soldiers, gold seekers, gamblers and politicians.

Printable Map of Santa Fe                     Key to Map

Vibrant décor and authentic New Mexican architecture intermingle with amenities such as Wi-Fi, concierge services, free water, a complimentary business center and more.  There is car rental on site, a fitness center with steam rooms, an all-season heated outdoor pool 16AI hotel lobby Fonda Santa Fe imagesand hot tub, Keurig coffee makers in the rooms, robes and USB ports. The hotel boasts original artwork and hand-crafted furniture and there are several restaurants on site..

The wholly owned art collection of La Fonda on the Plaza began at the hotel’s inception, and has grown considerably over the years.  Paintings by the best Pueblo artists were acquired in the early years.  Original art work hangs in every guest room.  The book, In Every Room: A Story of the Art, highlights the artists and artwork in the hotel.

Hotel Address:  100 E. San Francisco St., Santa Fe, New Mexico  87501

Hotel Telephone:  800-523-5002; 505-982-5511         FAX:  505-988-2952


By Air:  There are two options for air travel to Santa Fe.  Albuquerque International Airport, ABQ, is very close to Albuquerque itself, about 5 miles (8 km), but about 60 miles (100 km) south of Santa Fe.  This airport is the more popular choice for most travelers as it is a larger airport than the Santa Fe airport and has many more connecting flights.  However, it is about a 1-hr drive to Santa Fe.  Albuqerque Airport Car Rentals

Train or Shuttle from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and La Fonda hotel.

The second option is to use Santa Fe Municipal Airport, SAF, which offers daily non-stop flights to Denver, Dallas and Phoenix using United Airlines or American AirlinesRoad Runner Shuttle is located inside the airport terminal and can  bring you to downtown Santa Fe.  Uber and Lyft are available but there are no taxis available.  Both Hertz and Avis have rental car locations at the airport.  Santa Fe Ground Transportation and Car Rentals

Driving directions from the Albuquerque airport to La Fonda.

The Sandia Shuttle Express makes up to 30 trips a day between the two airports to fit your travel schedule.  They drop off and pick up at all major hotels.  Visit their website for further information or to make reservations.  All reservations must be guaranteed by a major credit card.

Conference Fees and Registration

Conference Fees

All conference fees are inclusive. They include registration, accommodations (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights), all meals (with the exception of dinner on Tuesday), drinks, and taxes dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Thursday. Incidental fees (faxes, laundry, etc.) are billed to your personal account by the hotel.


The conference fees are:

Register on or before February 1, 2018 Register after

February 1, 2018

Participant (single occupancy or sharing room with a guest; guest fee additional) US $2,282.00 US $2,482.00
Participant (sharing a room with another participant) US $1,926.00 US $2,126.00
Bona fide Graduate Student (sharing a room with another student) (Those in this category must send proof of current status – copy of current Student ID can be faxed to 1-212-514-6030 or emailed to Kathy@engconfintl.org) US $1,500.00 US $1,500.00
**Fees for Guest/accompanying person sharing bedroom with single occupancy participant. (A guest badge will be issued and this fee Includes all conference meals) US $615.00 US $615.00
**Fees for Guest/accompanying person sharing bedroom with single occupancy participant. (There is no charge for sharing a room with a participant. No badge will be issued and thus no conference meals and no participation in any conference group activities.)

If you plan to bring children to the conference, please contact ECI (info@engconfintl.org) for pricing.

Conference Registration

You will need a login name and password to register for ECI conferences through our online system. If you have been a recent participant at an ECI conference or have submitted an online application or request for information about an ECI Conference, you may already have an account with us. If you know your login information, please use it.

If you are not certain if you already have a login and password, please click on automated password retrieval and enter your e-mail address before creating a new account. If we do not have a valid email address on file for you, a pop up window will appear stating that no records were located. Click “OK” and then follow the instructions to create a new account.

If you have any questions or experience any difficulties, please email kathy@engconfintl.org.

Pre- and Post-Conference Reservations:  If you are planning to arrive early (before March 4) or to stay after the conference (after March 8) you MUST make hotel reservations directly with the hotel.  Use the appropriate form on THIS PAGE to make your reservations.

Special Notes for Payment

We suggest that you register as soon as possible to be certain that you will have a hotel room at the conference rate.  Late registrations will be accepted on a space available basis and late registrants may be housed in a nearby hotel.

All participants are encouraged to register before February 1, 2018.  There is a discounted price for registering before this date.  Hotel space cannot be guaranteed for registrations received after this date.  Your registration is not officially confirmed until we receive payment of the amount due.  ECI reserves the right to cancel your room registration if payment is not received. Your invoice/receipt will automatically be e-mailed upon of receipt of your registration.  Should you need a signed receipt, please contact Kathy Chan (kathy@engconfintl.org).

Because of contractual guarantees made with the hotel for room and meal functions, no shows, late arrivals, missed meals and early departures cannot receive fee adjustments.  If you have a disability and may require accommodation in order to participate fully in this conference, please indicate this when you register. An ECI representative will contact you to discuss your specific needs. If you have special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian or a food allergy), please make a note on your registration.  The chef needs to know this information in advance if we are to accommodate you. ECI will attempt to accommodate special requests such as Kosher or Halal meals, but such meals may not be available at all conference sites. The participant must pay any additional costs for special meal requests to ECI.

Payment must be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, and Amex), check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. dollars, payable to ENGINEERING CONFERENCES INTERNATIONAL. Checks or money orders in any other currencies are NOT ACCEPTABLE.  Payment must be made on the web site except for those who are sending payment by wire transfer or have a purchase order from their company/institution.

WIRE TRANSFER PAYMENT: If you are planning to make payment by wire transfer, please contact ECI for the bank information. You must add $30 to cover ECI bank charges. Please reference your full name and the conference title.  Either fax a copy of your bank transfer papers to ECI (Fax: +1-212-514-6030) or email a scanned copy to kathy@engconfintl.org.  This is very important – otherwise it is extremely difficult to trace your payment and you may not receive a receipt prior to the conference.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation must be received by ECI in writing at least 28 days prior to the start of the conference in order for a full refund (less a processing fee) to be considered. The ECI auditors require that refunds for all conference cancellations be processed after the conference so that the necessary back-up information (e.g., hotel list of those in-house) can be attached to the refund request and ECI can verify that the hotel has not charged a cancellation fee.

Cancellation fees:

  • Cancellations received more than 28 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a processing fee of 4% of the total fee, plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI.
  • Cancellations received 15 – 28 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a $250 cancellation fee plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI.
  • Cancellations received 8 – 14 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a $500 cancellation fee plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI.
  • No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the conference start date.
  • No refunds will be issued due to inclement weather or travel disruptions/cancellations.

Registrations may be transferred without incurring any penalty or cancellation fee.

Denied or delayed visa

If a participant is forced to cancel due to a denied or delayed entry visa, ECI will issue a full refund if ECI has been notified of a potential visa issue at least four weeks prior to the conference start date.

Change of payment method

If an attendee who has already paid the conference fee with a credit card requests that the fee be refunded to that card so that it can be paid in a different manner (e.g., charged to an alternate credit card, or paid via check or bank transfer), a processing fee of 4% of the total fee amount will apply.


It may be necessary for reasons beyond the control of ECI to alter the content and timing of the program or the identity of the speakers. In the unfortunate circumstance that an event is cancelled, ECI is not liable for any costs incurred by participants in connection with their attendance.

Smoking is prohibited at ECI conferences and conference functions.

Should you have specific questions regarding your registration, please contact Kathy Chan (Kathy@engconfintl.org).

Register Now!

Use THIS LINK to register for this conference.

General Information about ECI

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962, that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the weeklong research conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe that the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

Engineering Conferences International
32 Broadway, Suite 314, New York, NY 10004
T: 1-212-514-6760 F: 1-212-514-6030 E: info@engconfintl.org