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Dr Michael E Himmel
Dr Himmel has 30 years of progressive experience in conducting, supervising, and planning research in protein biochemistry, recombinant technology, enzyme engineering, new microorganism discovery, and the physicochemistry of macromolecules. He has also supervised research that targets the application of site-directed-mutagenesis and rational protein design to the stabilization and improvement of important industrial enzymes, especially glycosyl hydrolases.
Dr Himmel has functioned as PI for the DOE EERE Office of the Biomass Program (OBP) since 1992, wherein his responsibilities have included managing research designed to improve cellulase performance, reduce biomass pretreatment costs, and improve yields of fermentable sugars. He has also developed new facilities at NREL for biomass conversion research, including a Cellulase Biochemistry Laboratory, a Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory, a Protein Crystallography Laboratory, and a new Computational Science Team. Dr. Himmel also serves as the Principal Group Manger of the Biomolecular Sciences Group, where he has supervisory responsibly for 50 staff scientists.
During the past three decades, Dr. Himmel has contributed over 300 journal papers, books, patents, and copyrights to the literature. He has organized or co-organized numerous international conferences on aspects of biotechnology and biomass conversion. In 2008, Dr. Himmel edited a new book for Blackwell Publishers entitled “Biomass Recalcitrance” which is listed as a top selling book in science and has now been translated into Chinese. Dr Himmel Chaired the new Gordon Research Conference on “Cellulases and Cellulosomes” in 2003 and continues to support this conference. Dr Himmel also works closely with the biomass conversion industry today; as demonstrated by the numerous CRADAs currently underway in his laboratory at NREL. In 2004, Dr Himmel received the R&D 100 Award entitled “Advanced Cellulase System for Biomass Conversion;” in 2010, the CD Scott Award - Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals: Society for Industrial Microbiology; and in 2011, the Battelle Memorial Institute Distinguished Inventor award.