Leading up to the GC&E Conference we will be posting interviews with our 2017 GC&E Conference organizers to learn a little more about them and the excellent sessions you can look forward to at this year’s conference!
Jim Lalonde, Ph.D., Codexis
Session: Development of Novel Enzymes for Efficient Synthesis
A: I am proud to work in the green chemistry and engineering space for several reasons: We are developing methods for producing chemicals that are inherently clean and efficient; reactions that produce a desired product in a safe and efficient manner without creating waste is good all around; and we preserve the environment, conserve resources, protect workers, and create an economic advantage for our company. Producing effective medicines more economically is also particularly motivating. Pharmaceutical actives are becoming more targeted, potent, and thus safer, requiring lower dosages, but also tend to be more complex than molecules from a decade ago. Enzymes are particularly good at performing transformations on complex molecules with exquisite selectivity.
Q: In one sentence, describe the session you are organizing at GC&E.
A: My session at GC&E will focus on using state-of-the-art enzyme engineering methods to create enzymes that can perform non-natural reactions desired by chemists and are capable of acting on non-natural substrates.
Q: What will attendees learn at your GC&E session? What makes it unique?
A: Attendees will learn about breakthroughs in the engineering of novel enzymes from leaders in the field.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of the GC&E Conference (or what are you looking forward to)?
A: Learning about highly selective methods for performing efficient chemical synthesis, especially in the pharmaceutical field
Q: What are you currently focused on in your work or research?
A: My team at Codexis is developing enzymes for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and natural food ingredients, enzymes for Next Gen sequencing, and enzyme replacement therapies.
Q: If you weren't a chemist, what would you be doing?
A: Clinical research
Q: When you aren't at work, how do you spend your free time?
A: I enjoy working out, hiking, and good food and wine with my four adult kids.
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