Evolving Biotechnology

Professor David Ackerley describes engineering enzymes using “directed evolution” – a Darwinian approach of randomly mutating a single target gene.

Inaugural lecture—Professor David Ackerley

October 2018

Enzymes are tiny biological machines that catalyse the chemistry of life. Re-engineering these machines has allowed scientists to advance many diverse areas of medical, environmental, agricultural and industrial biotechnology.

Join Victoria University of Wellington’s Professor of Biotechnology David Ackerley as he describes engineering enzymes using “directed evolution” – a Darwinian approach of randomly mutating a single target gene, then selecting variants where serendipitous changes have improved a desirable feature. Using this method, Professor Ackerley has evolved enzymes to detoxify environmental pollutants, improve cancer gene therapies, or produce pigments for biosensors – the latter also having applications in bacterial art.

This is Professor Ackerley’s inaugural lecture as Professor of Biotechnology at Victoria University of Wellington.

Our public lecture series gives you the opportunity to engage with the latest thinking on the world’s major issues. To stay informed of upcoming public lecture at Victoria University of Wellington, sign up to the public lecture mailing list.