Above, BTI Assistant Director Tim Tripp, University President Eric Kaler, and BTI Director Michael Sadowsky stand before the large-scale fermentors in the Biotechnology Resource Center.
BioTechnology Institute faculty represent 14 different departments and various research interests involving disciplines in both engineering and the biological sciences. And though each faculty member has a special area of study, all collaborate in research areas of common interest - one group venture benefiting from the research findings of another. This collaborative nature of both faculty and research at the BioTechnology Institute sets the scene for exciting scientific advances.
Through collaborative faculty efforts, research at the BioTechnology Institute has explored new medical treatments and drugs, found new sources of renewable energy, helped save the environment by degrading toxic contaminants and preserved and purified our food and drinking water.
An ongoing theme in research at the BioTechnology Institute is synthetic ecology - that is, utilizing communities of living organisms and their interactions in technological processes. These processes include the biological synthesis of new pharmaceuticals, biofuels, and other important products. The interactions of researchers at the BioTechnology Institute has also contributed to an ecology of collaborative research.
This collaborative research ecology is increasingly interfacing with industry to supply needed technology solutions, and it continues to be a tremendous resource to the University of Minnesota.
BTI faculty member Claudia Schmidt-Dannert has been named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor and will be honored at a dinner in May. The honor comes with an award of $100,000 over five years to be used for research equipment, professional travel, research assistant salaries, and an annual salary bonus. Schmidt-Dannert will have the title for as long as she remains at the University of Minnesota.