Science & Technology

Bacterial Biofuel: Scientist Shares Research at Oct. 12 Hansen Seminar

The recipient of a U.S. Department of Energy Transformational Energy Research Project grant visits Utah State University Wednesday, Oct. 12, and shares progress on an innovative energy research effort that uses bacteria to turn carbon dioxide into vehicle fuel.

Professor F. Robert “Bob” Tabita, Ohio Eminent Scholar of Microbiology in the School of Natural Resources, Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology at The Ohio State University, is featured speaker for the USU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s 2011 R. Gaurth Hansen Seminar Series. He presents “RubisCO: An Enzyme Essential for Three Central Metabolic Pathways” at 4 p.m. in ESLC 046. All are invited.

“Some years ago, our lab discovered that the molecular control of key processes such as carbon dioxide fixation, nitrogen fixation, hydrogen metabolism and sulfur oxidation/reduction are linked in photosynthetic bacteria,” Tabita says. “In my talk, I’ll discuss our recent work on the novel functions of a key catalyst of carbon dioxide assimilation, the enzyme RubisCO.”

The author of more than 200 papers in leading molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology journals, Tabita serves as director of OSU’s Plant-Microbe Genomics Facility.  Outside the lab, he served as 2010-11 chair of the OSU Athletics Council, which oversees the largest intercollegiate athletic program in the United States.

Tabita is the eighth annual Hansen Seminar speaker. The seminar series honors the late R. Gaurth Hansen, a USU alum who joined the university’s faculty in 1968. A nationally respected biochemist, Hansen served for 16 years as an academic vice president and as Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Food Sciences and Chemistry/Biochemistry at Utah State. He was named USU Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 1985.

The Hansen seminar series is made possible by an endowment established by William Rutter, co-founder and former chairman of the board of the Chiron Corporation.

For more information about the seminar, contact USU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at 435-797-1619.

Related links:

USU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

USU College of Science

Contact: Scott Ensign, 435-797-3969, scott.ensign@usu.edu

Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517, maryann.muffoletto@usu.edu

USU Hansen Seminar speaker Robert Tabita, 2011

Robert Tabita, Ohio Eminent Scholar of Microbiology at The Ohio State University, is guest speaker for the USU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry's 2011 Hansen Seminar. Tabita speaks Wednesday, Oct. 12; all are welcome. Photo courtesy of OSU.

research graph for Hansen Seminar

With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Tabita is pursuing an innovative energy research effort that uses bacteria to turn carbon dioxide into vehicle fuel.

TOPICS

Chemistry 92stories Energy 77stories Biofuels 20stories

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