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More than beer is brewing

By Chemical Engineering |

This year, the recipient of the Othmer Gold Medal is Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon Ltd. (Bangalore, India; www.biocon.com). The award, which will be presented at the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF; Philadelphia, Pa.; www.chemheritage.org) in May, honors outstanding individuals who have made multifaceted contributions to our chemical and scientific heritage. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a pioneer in India’s biotechnology industry. She was that country’s first female brewmaster, and she went on to create a globally recognized bio-pharma enterprise. As Carsten Reinhardt, president and CEO of CHF said, “Then she used her knowledge of fermentation to become one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the history of her nation.” One of Biocon’s key innovations is the development of Pichia -based (a yeast) recombinant human insulin. The human insulin manufacturing process begins with fermentation. Fermentation is playing an increasingly important role in the chemical process industries (CPI), and not just for the more traditional products made by that route, such as for the food-and-beverage and pharmaceutical sectors. The CPI are experiencing significant growth in bio-based chemicals (see…
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