Ian Paulsen, Macquarie University
professor at Department of Molecular Sciences
Ian Paulsen, a distinguished professor at Macquarie University, is the director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology (CoESB), an international collaboration between nine Australian universities and 25 partners that provides technical innovation that helps Australia develop its bio-economy, supporting the country’s agricultural sector. CoESB, based at Macquarie University, is focused on combining engineering with molecular biology to design of synthetic microbes, enabling the development of custom-designed microbial communities that serve as molecular factories, converting biological material that currently go to waste into useful products, such as biofuel, bioplastics, and other high-value chemicals. The team has already developed synthetic yeast which can grow on methanol, instead of the sugar it normally thrives on. This means that the feedstock for bio-factories can be sourced from municipal and industrial waste streams. Paulsen has recently been made a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), an extremely select group elected on the basis of their scientific achievement, national and international profile, and leadership, mentorship, promotion of science, and potential to advance the work of the academy.