Professor Penttilä will receive the award for her outstanding research contribution In biotehcnology for the production of fuels and chemicals.
The Charles D. Scott Award will be presented to Professor Penttilä at the Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals in Seattle on 30 April 2019.
The award is given annually to a person whose contributions are of exceptional merit, reflecting independence of thought and originality that adds appreciably to scientific knowledge. Activities such as journal editing, organizing and chairing conferences, and serving scientific societies in official capacities may be considered, but the most important factor is research accomplishments.
Merja Penttilä holds a position of Adjunct Professor in synthetic biology at Aalto University and Research Professor in biotechnology at VTT. She has studied many aspects of enzymology, gene regulation, enzyme secretion, redox regulation and metabolic engineering of various yeasts and filamentous fungi, and used these organisms for production of enzymes, fuels, chemicals and materials (bioplastics precursors, silk).
Professor Penttilä has been the leader of several large research consortia and CoE's in Finland, coordinator and partner in EU projects, and lead bilateral projects with industry. Recently, she has focused on synthetic biology tool and infrastructure development, and promoted establishment of Synbio Powerhouse, an innovation ecosystem with activities ranging from education to new business development.