Where and how did you spend your last vacation?
My wife and I spent a week rock climbing outside of Las Vegas. Just twenty minutes from “The Strip,” there is a world-class rock climbing destination called Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, home to some of the biggest and best sand stone formations in the American West. We climbed more than 5500 vertical feet of rock over 8 days and got to experience numerous breath-taking vistas and panoramas. The contrast of pristine, serine wilderness adjacent to the epicenter of human excess was striking.
What do you especially like about your job?
Quantitative Physiology is a central node for research and development at OPX Biotechnologies. We use a host of tools – including fermentation – to quantitatively address questions concerning our metabolically engineered strains. The data generated in my group directly inform future strain engineering efforts, technology transfer, scale-up, process development, downstream recovery, and analytical. The diversity of technical challenges that we get to address ensures that no two days are ever the same.
How did you come to know DASGIP?
I learned of DASGIP by word of mouth from others in the field. Casual conversations with colleagues from other companies are inevitably steered towards the logistical challenges that we never anticipated but have all faced. The response from everyone who had already evaluated the DASGIP platform was universally and overwhelmingly positive.
In your opinion, what is the bio-based chemical industry's most exciting challenge at the moment?
The field of industrial biotechnology may finally be coming of age. First generation products (e.g. bioethanol) were critical in demonstrating that the technology could be used to produce fuels and chemicals at an industrially significant scale. The current challenges for the next generation of bioproducts are to demonstrate economically feasibility without government subsidies and to develop bioprocesses that utilize non-traditional, renewable feedstocks.
Matthew L. Lipscomb was interviewed by DASGIP on 31 August, 2010.
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