2009 Algae Biomass Summit Announces J. Craig Venter as Keynote

Registration for premier algae industry conference now open

SEATTLE – July 22, 2009 – The 2009 Algae Biomass Summit announced today that J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., renowned scientist and CEO of Synthetic Genomics Inc (SGI), will be the keynote speaker at this year’s event. The Algae Biomass Summit is the official conference of the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) and takes place this year October 7-9 in San Diego. Registration for the conference is now available at  www.algaebiomass.org/events/.

The Algae Biomass Summit is the algae industry’s premier global conference and is designed to highlight scientific advances and encourage knowledge sharing to accelerate the development of algae-based solutions for global energy, environmental and economic issues.

Dr. Venter, who is well known as a leader in genomics for sequencing the first draft human genome in 2001 and his complete human genome in 2007, is the co-founder of SGI, which is dedicated to using genomic-driven advances to address a variety of global issues including energy and the environment. SGI recently announced a $600 million alliance with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company to develop next generation biofuels using photosynthetic algae. Prior to this announcement, SGI announced deals with BP in exploring biological conversion of subsurface hydrocarbons and a deal with Malaysian company, ACGT to explore oil producing crops such as oil palm and jatropha. His presentation at the Algae Biomass Summit is titled “From reading to writing the genetic code.”

“Dr. Venter is a scientific pioneer and strong advocate for next generation biofuels,” said Mary Rosenthal, executive director of the Algae Biomass Organization. “He is applying his success with genomes in ways that have the potential to help algae-based solutions deliver on the promise of renewable and sustainable energy.”
In 1995 Dr. Venter and his team of researchers decoded the genome of the first free-living organism, the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae, using his new whole genome shotgun technique. Since then, he and his teams have now sequenced hundreds of genomes using his techniques and tools.

Dr. Venter, formerly a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, is the author of more than 200 research articles and the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, public honors, and scientific awards, including the 2001 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, and the 2002 Gairdner Foundation International Award. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Venter has also been selected twice to  Time (magazine)” Time Magazine’sTime 100” Time 100” list of the most influential people in the world.

About the ABO
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and advocate for the development of commercially-viable transportation and power generation fuels as well as other non-energy applications for algae biomass. Its membership is comprised of people, companies and organizations across the value chain. More information about ABO, including its leadership, membership, costs, benefits and members and their affiliations, is available at the website.

John Williams, Scoville PR for ABO
206-625-0075,  jwilliams@scovillepr.com

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