Sakayu Shimizu Winner of the 2009 Enzyme Engineering Award

The 2009 Enzyme Engineering Award, presented in the name of Engineering Conferences International and the Genencor division of Danisco A/S, was awarded to Professor Sakayu Shimizu of Kyoto University. Dr. Shimizu has made extraordinary contributions to both fundamental and applied sciences. He has contributed greatly to our understanding and utilization of microbial functions, reactions and enzymes as biotechnological tools for practical large-scale production of vitamins, co-enzymes, lipids, fatty acids, etc. His work is characterized by discoveries of novel or unique microbial reactions and enzymes, and the ingenious application of microbial or enzymatic methods to achieve hitherto impossible or difficult biochemical or biosynthetic transformations. Many of the strategies and methods he has developed are breakthrough achievements that laid the framework for much of the current use of microorganisms or enzymes as catalysts in large-scale practical production of useful products. His own discoveries have led directly to the commercialization of many biotechnological processes, some at the 1,000 ton/year scale. Thus, Dr. Shimizu is considered one of the world leaders in "Green or White Chemistry".

Dr. Shimizu is an internationally recognized leader in the field of enzyme engineering, and has won many awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Biotechnology Division of the American Oil Chemists Society. He has published more than 300 peer reviewed research articles, 91 review articles, and has been awarded more than 2 dozen international patents and almost 200 Japanese patents.

The Enzyme Engineering Award has been presented at the biennial International Enzyme Engineering Conference since 1983. The 2009 Award was presented at the 20th Enzyme Engineering Conference in Groningen, The Netherlands, September 20-24, 2009. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of enzyme engineering, through basic or applied research in academia or industry. The award is sponsored by Genencor and includes an engraved piece of Steuben glass.