MIchael W. W. Adams

Michael W. W. Adams

Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Place: SUB 235, Strand Union Building
Time: 4:10 PM

Title: Engineering High Temperature Microbes for Biofuel Production

Sponsoring department: Chemistry & Biochemistry


Dr. Adams will discuss the discovery and properties of microorganisms that grow at extreme temperatures, with a focus on the anaerobic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus, the “rushing fireball,” that grows optimally in boiling water. This organism is being genetically engineered to use hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide to generate biofuels.

About the speaker:

Michael W. W. Adams is the Georgia Power Professor of Biotechnology and a Distinguished Research Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia. He is also adjunct professor of microbiology, co-director for the Center for Metalloenzymes Studies and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Dr. Adams obtained his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of London, and spent two years performing post-doctoral research at Purdue University before joining Exxon Research and Engineering Company in New Jersey in 1981. He moved to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia in 1987.

His research concerns microorganisms from volcanic environments that thrive at temperatures near 100°C, the normal boiling point, with an emphasis on their metabolism, enzymology and metal-containing proteins, and their use in the production of biofuels. He has over 300 publications in international scientific journals and has edited eight books in these areas. His research is funded by the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. For the past ten years Dr. Adams has been the Editor of the Journal of Bacteriology and served on the editorial boards of four other international journals.

In 2003 he was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology and in 2010 received the Charles Thom award for research excellence from the Society of Industrial Microbiology.