April 20, 2018
Academia Sinica president James C. Liao to present 2018 Kelly Lectures
James C. Liao, president of Academia Sinica in Taiwan, will speak on Tuesday and Wednesday (April 24-25) in the 2018 Kelly Lecture Series, presented by the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering.
Liao's Tuesday lecture, titled "Redesign of Metabolic Infrastructure for Carbon Management," will take place at 3 p.m. in Forney Hall, Room G140. Wednesday's lecture, "Construction and Evolution of Escherichia coli for Utilization of C1 Compounds," will be held at 3 p.m. in Forney Hall, Room 3059. Both lectures are free and open to the public.
Liao received his BS degree (1980) from National Taiwan University and PhD (1987) from University of Wisconsin-Madison. After working as a research scientist at Eastman Kodak Co., he started his academic career at Texas A&M University in 1990 and moved to University of California, Los Angeles from 1997 to 2016. He has served as president of Academia Sinica in Taiwan since June 2016.
Liao is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Academician of Academia Sinica in Taiwan. He also received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, the White House "Champion of Change" for innovations in renewable energy, the ENI Renewable Energy Prize, and the National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science.
His research has focused on metabolism, including its biochemistry, regulation and redesign. He uses metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, and systems biology to construct microorganisms to produce next-generation biofuels and to study the obesity problem in humans. Liao and his team also develop mathematical tools for investigating metabolism and guiding engineering design. Currently, their main projects include engineering proteins and biochemical pathways for CO2 fixation and production of fuels and chemicals. The ultimate goal is to use biochemical methods to replace petroleum processing and to treat metabolic diseases.
The Davidson School of Chemical Engineering's Arthur Kelly Lecture Series was established by a grant from alumnus Arthur Kelly (BSChE '24). Kelly was a retired executive vice president and director of B.F. Goodrich Co. He received an honorary doctorate from Purdue in 1961. The Kelly Lectures are presented annually by outstanding engineers and scientists from the broad areas of chemical engineering. The recipients are selected by the faculty in recognition of their contributions to research and education. Past Kelly Lecturers include legendary figures in chemical engineering and two Nobel laureates.