BIO Congratulates 2018 George Washington Carver and Rosalind Franklin Award Recipients

Each year at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, BIO recognizes innovators in the field of industrial biotechnology with the George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture and the Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture. This year BIO congratulates Dr. Sang Yup Lee, distinguished professor and dean at the KAIST Institute in South Korea, and Krysta Harden, vice president of external affairs and chief sustainability officer at Corteva AgriscienceTM (a division of DowDuPont), for winning the George Washington Carver and Rosalind Franklin Awards, respectively.

George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture

The annual George Washington Carver Award, sponsored by the Iowa Biotechnology Association, recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to building the biobased economy by applying industrial biotechnology to create environmentally sustainable products. It serves as a lasting memorial to the original vision of George Washington Carver, who, over a century ago, pioneered biobased products, materials and energy derived from renewable agricultural feedstocks. Industrial biotechnology is the modern-day equivalent of Carver’s vision.

Dr. Sang Yup Lee will be recognized as the 11th winner of the Carver Award during a plenary session at the 2018 BIO World Congress in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 18. A pioneer in his own right, Dr. Lee is a leader in the establishment of systems metabolic engineering technology to develop microbial bioprocesses for the sustainable and environment-friendly production of chemicals, fuels and materials from non-food renewable biomass. Through his work, Dr. Lee has gained countless recognitions including being one of only 13 people in the world elected as a foreign member of both the National Academy of Sciences USA and the National Academy of Engineering USA.

Dr. Lee has actively promoted the importance of industrial biotechnology through engagement with the public, policymakers and decision makers around the world. Dr. Lee has published more than 575 peer-reviewed papers, contributed to 82 books and holds 636 patents.

As BIO’s Executive Vice President of Industrial and Environment Brent Erickson said: “Dr. Sang Yup Lee has advanced the biobased economy by developing innovative products and processes that are sustainable and environmentally friendly…. His contributions to the advancement of the industry are a continuation of the legacy left behind by George Washington Carver.”

“The credit all goes to my research team who has worked together for the past few decades,” said Dr. Lee when learning of the honor. “Industrial biotechnology is becoming increasingly important to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We should continue to work together to advance the field and establish a solid foundation for the sustainable future.”

Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture 

The annual Rosalind Franklin Award, sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society, will be presented at the same plenary session on Wednesday, July 18, at the 2018 BIO World Congress to Corteva Agriscience’s Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer Krysta Harden.

Named after former King’s College research associate Rosalind Franklin, the award is sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society, whose goal is to support and showcase the careers of eminent women in science. While working as a research associate in London, Rosalind Franklin conceived and captured Photograph 51 of the “B” form of DNA. Her photograph, acquired from a machine Dr. Franklin herself refined, revealed the structure of DNA, making it the single most important advance of modern biology. Though sometimes overlooked, Rosalind Franklin’s critical work and discovery in the field has allowed the biotechnology industry to become what it is today.

Krysta Harden currently leads Corteva Agriscience’s public policy and government affairs efforts, in addition to its sustainability, philanthropy, product stewardship and global regulatory activities. Both in her current role and in her former position as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ms. Harden has been a tireless advocate for bringing new technology and innovation to industrial biotechnology and agriculture, as well as a passionate leader in encouraging women to seek careers in these burgeoning sectors. During her time at USDA, Ms. Harden helped shape food and agriculture policy and founded the agency’s Women in Agriculture Mentoring Program, which supports and engages women across all areas of agriculture and fosters professional partnerships between women with shared goals.

“Krysta was a leader when she worked in Congress and the federal government and she continues to be a leader in the private sector,” said Erickson. “The combination of her advocacy in biotechnology innovation and promotion of women in the field makes her the perfect recipient for an award that aims to honor the distinguished women that work in science.”

“I am humbled to receive such a prestigious award,” said Krysta Harden. “As an advocate for both biotechnology and women in science, it is an honor to receive the Rosalind Franklin award. Women leaders continue to play an increasingly pivotal role in science fields. From the farm to the lab to the boardroom, there are many possibilities for women in science and we must continue to open doors for them.”

Following the award ceremonies, both recipients will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Brent Erickson on Wednesday, July 18 from 11:30 AM – 1 PM to discuss how industrial biotechnology has changed over the last 15 years and highlight promising opportunities for growth in the future.

For more information about the plenary session and other programming, view the program schedule here. For more information about this year’s BIO World Congress, including information about past year’s award winners, click here.

And if you haven’t done so yet, be sure to register to attend the 2018 BIO World Congress in Philadelphia, July 16-19, 2018.