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Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture

Each year this award is given to an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation. This year the award winner will join Brent Erickson on Wednesday's lunch plenary to discuss how industrial biotech has changed over the last 15 years, and highlight promising opportunities for growth in the future.

This year's winner is Krysta Harden, Corteva Agriscience™.

Krysta Harden is  Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer at Corteva Agriscience™, leading the company’s public policy and government affairs strategies, in addition to its sustainability, philanthropy, product stewardship and global regulatory activities. Prior to joining Corteva, Krysta served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where she helped to shape food and agriculture policy and expand opportunities for women, young people, immigrants, socially disadvantaged producers, returning veterans and retirees. Krysta founded USDA’s Women in Agriculture Mentoring Network, which supports and engages women across all areas of agriculture and fosters professional partnerships between women with shared goals. 

Past Award Recipients: 

  • Vonnie Estes, Independent Consultant 
  • Anna Rath, President & CEO, Nexsteppe, Inc.
  • Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech
  • Dr. Debbie Yaver, Director of Expression Technology, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Novozymes 

Award sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society 


George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture

This award was created to recognize significant contributions by individuals in the field of industrial biotechnology and its application in biological engineering, environmental science, biorefining, and biobased products. This year the award winner will join Brent Erickson on Wednesday's lunch plenary to discuss how industrial biotech has changed over the last 15 years, and highlight promising opportunities for growth in the future. 

This year's winner is Dr. Sang Yup Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

Dr. Sang Yup Lee is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Dr. Lee is a pioneer of systems metabolic engineering, leveraging the technology to develop microbial bioprocesses for the sustainable and environmentally-friendly production of chemicals, fuels and materials from non-food renewable biomass and is recognized as a great communicator who actively promotes the importance of industrial biotechnology through engagement with the public, policymakers and decision makers around the world. Dr. Lee is also one of 13 people in the world elected as Foreign Associate of both National Academy of Engineering USA and National Academy of Sciences USA.

Past Award Recipients:

  • Jeff Broin, Chairman & CEO, POET
  • Dr. J. Craig Venter, Co-Founder of Synthetic Genomics and Executive Chairman of Human Longevity
  • Jonathan Wolfson, CEO & Co-Founder, Solazyme
  • Ellen Kullman, CEO & Chair of the Board, DuPont - View her acceptance speech here
  • Dr. Jay Keasling, Hubbard Howe Jr.Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley 
  • Steen Riisgaard, President and CEO of Novozymes
  • Feike Sijbesma, CEO, DSM
  • Dr. Greg Stephanopoulos,  Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT
  • Charles O. Holliday, Jr.,  CEO & Chair of the Board, DuPont
  • Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo, Inc

Award sponsored by the Iowa Biotechnology Association


BIO Leadership and Legacy Award in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture

This award is presented to an individual who has shown exemplary leadership and who has dedicated a significant portion of their career to advancing industrial biotechnology and growing the biobased economy.

This year's winner is Dr. Larry Walker, Cornell University and Industrial Biotechnology Journal.

Dr. Larry Walker taught for more than 30 years in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department at Cornell University and has led multidiscipline research activities in a variety of disciplines. In addition, he directed Cornell’s Biofuel Research Laboratory for five years. Dr. Walker has served in numerous regional and national leadership roles. Since 2010, he has served as the Co-Editor in Chief for the journal “Industrial Biotechnology” where he has had the privilege of chronicling the exciting innovations that are coming out of our industrial biotechnology community. Dr. Walker has been a tireless advocate for STEM education and industrial biotech innovation throughout his career in this field.

Past Award Recipients:

  • Dr. Gord Surgeoner, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies
  • Dr. Ganesh Kishore, Managing Partner, Spruce Capital Partners