AFINGEN’s advisers, Dr. Dominique Loqué & Dr. Henrik Scheller received 2014 R&D 100 Award

July 11, 2014

Each year, R & D Magazine’s R&D 100 Awards are presented to the 100 most significant new technologies. Over the past 35 years, Berkeley Lab has received 95 R&D 100 awards. Tissue-Specific Cell-Wall Engineering for Biofuels and Biomaterials is a suite of precision genetic tools that will improve crops bred for production of food, biofuels, industrial polymers, and pharmaceuticals.  By manipulating a plant’s metabolic pathways, two scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Henrik Scheller and Dominique Loqué, have figured out a way to genetically rewire plants to allow for an exceptionally high level of control over the spatial pattern of gene expression, while at the same time boosting expression to very high levels. Now they have launched a startup company called Afingen to apply this technology for developing low-cost biofuels that could be cost-competitive with gasoline and corn ethanol.