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MIT to Take Part in Biodiversity Project

MIT has agreed to assist a private foundation in Brazil in establishing a research center that would stimulate and support a biotechnology industry in the northwestern Brazilian state of Amazonas.

Provost Mark S. Wrighton has announced that the Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Amazonia (FCBA) will provide up to $5 million to reimburse MIT for its participation in establishing a Biotechnology Center of Excellence in Manaus, Amazonas.

Taking part in the project will be MIT's Biotechnology Process Engineering Center (BPEC), the Department of Biology, the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Department of Chemistry and the Biomaterials Science and Engineering Laboratory.

Faculty members directly involved are Dr. Charles L. Cooney, professor of biochemical and chemical engineering; Dr. Arnold Demain, professor of biology; Dr. Alexander Klibanov, professor of chemistry; Dr. Robert S. Langer, Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering; Dr. Chokyun Rha, professor of biomaterials science and engineering; Dr. Anthony J. Sinskey, professor of microbiology; Dr. Gregory Stephanopoulos, professor of chemical engineering; and Dr. Daniel I.C. Wang, Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering and director of the BPEC.

Professor Sinskey is spearheading MIT's involvement in the Project.

MIT will develop, in cooperation with the FCBA, collaborative research and education projects with the goal of training engineers and scientists in biotechnology and bioprocess engineering. MIT also will assist the FCBA in developing a technology transfer program between the Brazilian foundation and industry in Amazonas.

A version of this article appeared in the September 22, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 7).

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