November 10, 2017 Brian Pfleger wins ACS BIOT Young Investigator award Written By: Silke Schmidt Departments: Chemical & Biological Engineering Categories Awards Brian Pfleger Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Professor Brian Pfleger won the American Chemical Society’s Division of Biochemical Technology (ACS BIOT) Young Investigator Award. The award honors an outstanding young contributor to the field of biochemical technology. Pfleger was recognized for his work in developing synthetic biology tools and deploying them in microbes to implement metabolic engineering strategies for sustainable chemical production. Pfleger’s research focuses on methods to close the carbon cycle by making chemical products from renewable resources, such as biomass, and by harnessing solar energy to power the conversion of carbon dioxide to chemicals. To develop these methods, he uses the tools of synthetic biology, a subfield of biotechnology that combines elements of engineering, mathematics, chemistry, and biology to synthesize novel systems from known biological components. One example is the genetic engineering of cyanobacteria, some of the oldest organisms on earth, to create fuels and chemicals directly through photosynthesis without the need for agricultural land or potable water. Pfleger will receive the ACS BIOT Young Investigator Award at the BIOT annual meeting in New Orleans in March 2018.