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The Evolution of Biofuels with the Women of Amyris + Tours

  • Mar 11, 2014 · 6:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Check out BART transportation options to Amyris using the Emeryville Go-Around. A free shuttle connecting Emeryville's employers and shopping centers with MacArthur BART station.

Amyris is using a breakthrough science, called synthetic biology, and traditional chemical manufacturing to address some of our planet’s most daunting problems.  The company, known for its biofuels, has evolved since its founding and is now focused on developing higher value chemicals and products.  Amyris' portfolio of commercial products is based on Biofene®, Amyris' brand of farnesene (a long-chain branched hydrocarbon, manufactured using engineered microbes in fermentation).  Come learn from the Women of Amyris how the company, and the industry as a whole is evolving supply-chains and is serving the needs of cosmetics, home and personal care, and flavors and fragrance industries.  You’ll also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a tour of the Amyris facilities!

Speakers include:

• Zanna McFerson, Chief Business Officer

• Dr. Sara Gaucher, Associate Director of Screening and Analytics

• Dr. Sarah Reisinger, Director of Program Operations


6:30pm - 7:00pm: Tours

7:00pm - 8:00pm: Discussion

8:00pm - 8:30pm: Close


$15 early bird - good though February 23

$25 standard

$30 at the door


Zanna McFerson, Chief Business Officer

Zanna McFerson leads business development and commercial and product line activities at Amyris.  Prior to joining Amyris, McFerson was Vice President of Cargill and Business Director of Truvia®, the leading global natural sugar substitute.  In this position, she directed an extensive global team with resources across research and development, agronomy, supply chain, scientific and regulatory affairs, sales, and marketing.  She played a leading role in fundamentally changing the sugar substitute industry by creating consumer demand for a novel sweetener and forming a trade group, The International Stevia Council, where she most recently served as President.  During her tenure, Cargill received numerous awards in the area of technology, public relations and marketing, while being lauded for its sustainability efforts.  A native of Finland, McFerson received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Illinois and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Sara Gaucher, Associate Director of Screening and Analytics

Dr. Sara P. Gaucher is currently the Associate Director of Screening and Analytics at Amyris, where she has worked for the past 6 years.  Her team is responsible for assay development and product stability studies to support process testing and manufacturing.  Previous roles at Amyris include leadership of the BioAnalytics group, where she had responsiblity for strain analysis using ‘omics (measurements of RNA, proteins and metabolites) and physiological assays.  She recently received a California Assembly District 15 "Women of the Year" award, which recognizes women leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) who mentor and promote other women and girls in STEM.  Dr. Gaucher received her B.S. in chemistry from MIT and her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley, where she worked in the lab of Dr. Julie A. Leary in the field of biological mass spectrometry.

Dr. Sarah Reisinger, Director of Program Operations

Dr. Sarah Reisinger is the Director of Program Operations at Amyris.  Since 2008, she has directed programs for enzyme engineering and high throughput screening at Amyris.  Currently, she leads research and development for Amyris' flavor and fragrance group.  Prior to Amyris, Dr. Reisinger worked as a scientist at Kosan Biosciences.  She has a PhD in Molecular Microbial Biology and a Masters in Plant Molecular Biology from UC Berkeley and a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Harvey Mudd College.

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  • Sara E.

    I love our events because I always learn something new. Good job WCS!

    March 11, 2014

  • Lisa A.

    SJ carpool leaves from the Cupertino Whole Foods at 3:30. I've got 4 spots open.

    March 9, 2014

    • Kathy H.

      I'll take a spot!

      March 9, 2014

    • Sara E.

      I'll take a spot also

      March 11, 2014

  • Lisa A.

    Taking BART is easy and there's plenty of street parking!

    March 11, 2014

13 went

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