The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 10, 2005

Photo: Dr. Venkiteswaran (Mani) Subramanian, who recently joined the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Engineering as professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. Click here for a high-resolution version of the image.

Subramanian Is New Director Of Center For Biocatalysis And Bioprocessing

Dr. Venkiteswaran (Mani) Subramanian, who recently joined the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Engineering as professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, has been named director of the internationally recognized UI Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing (CBB).

Subramanian succeeds Dr. Jack Rosazza, emeritus professor of medicinal and natural products chemistry. Rosazza, who has directed the CBB since it was founded some 20 years ago under the Office of the Vice President for Research, plans to continue to pursue his CBB research interests.

UI Vice President for Research Meredith Hay said: "For The University of Iowa to be able to hire away such a distinguished scientist from a prominent company reinforces the UI's national reputation as a leading research institution. Dr. Subramanian brings an impressive set of entrepreneurial, scientific and technological skills to the UI, and he will be an important part of our continuing efforts to enhance our technology transfer and economic development contributions. We are also deeply grateful to Dr. Rosazza for his leadership in creating and guiding the CBB to its present position of international prominence. He has been especially generous with his time, even while entering emeritus status, in providing continued leadership for the CBB while the search that concluded with the selection of Dr. Subramanian was being completed."

Subramanian, a current CBB Advisory Board member, joined the UI faculty on Oct. 4, 2005 following a distinguished 24-year career as a leader in industrial biotechnology. His expertise in biochemistry, molecular biology and microbiology will enhance the already strong research programs in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and the CBB Fermentation/Bioprocessing Laboratory.

Subramanian earned his doctorate in biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 1978. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin, he held positions at Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich., Novartis/Sandoz Agro Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif., and Maxygen, Inc. of Redwood, Calif. For the past six years, he was Global Research and Development Director, Biotechnology/Bioprocessing at Dow Chemical Company in San Diego, Calif., where he established a strong research and development program and led more than 50 professionals. Among his many scientific and technical successes were the development of breakthrough technology in the microbial expression and production of proteins and peptides, and the integration of biocatalysis into existing chemical technology for the contract manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and intermediates. At Maxygen, Subramanian created a portfolio of patents for DNA shuffling technology and its application in agricultural biotechnology.

One of the first and largest clusters of faculty scientists in the world with a focus on biocatalysis and bioprocessing, the CBB includes some 60 faculty members from eight departments. (The departments include: biochemistry, biological sciences, chemical and biochemical engineering, chemistry, civil and environmental engineering, medicinal and natural products chemistry, microbiology, and pharmacology.) Faculty and their research groups work on various aspects of biocatalysis research. The strengths of the CBB are underlined by extensive extramural and state of Iowa support, education and training programs supporting 20 pre- and three postdoctoral fellows, industrial outreach through the CBB laboratory and a major annual conference, and the first endowed biocatalysis chair in the United States. The GLP fermentation/bioprocessing laboratory works with industry throughout the world, and CBB is developing a new fermentation and downstream processing facility to expand industrial outreach.

Two decades after its founding, CBB remains dedicated to education, research and technology transfer as it helps to reshape the agricultural, chemical, nutritional and pharmaceutical industries by combining the intellectual talents of top scientific faculty with the practical delivery of new technologies. CBB is the state of Iowa's primary contract research facility for fermentation and bioprocessing.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu