17-20 January 2016, Coastlands, Umhlanga


Lead Speaker


Dr Karen E. Nelson, Ph.D


Title of Talk: The human microbiome and implications for health and disease


Dr. Nelson is the President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) where she has worked for the past 19 years. Dr. Nelson has extensive experience in microbial ecology, genomics, physiology and metagenomics and has led several genomic and metagenomic efforts, including the first human metagenomics study published in 2006.

She has authored or co-authored over 150 peer reviewed publications, edited three books, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Microbial Ecology. She is a Fellow of the American Academy for Microbiology. Dr. Nelson received her undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies, and her Ph.D. from Cornell University.

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Plenary Speakers


Prof. Ashok Pandey


Title of Talk: Production of second generation biofuels from renewable alternative feedstocks


Professor Ashok Pandey has a Master’s degree in Chemistry, PhD in Microbiology with specialization in industrial microbiology. His current research interest is on bio-based economy development, mainly on the production of biofuels, biopolymers, industrial enzymes, organic acids, etc. He has more than 1000 publications/communications, which include 14 patents & design copyright, 38 books, 110 book chapters, 410 original and review papers, etc with h index of 68 and >19,200 citation (Google scholar). Professor Pandey is recipient of many national and international awards and fellowships. He is Editor-in-chief of Bioresource Technology. He is Founder President of Biotech Research Society, India and Founder Secretary of International Forum on Industrial Bioprocess (France).

Dr Tej Pal Singh, Ph.D


Title of Talk: Structural basis of therapeutic  applications of innate immunity proteins as the resistance-free protein antibiotics


Dr. T.P. Singh works in the Department of Biophysics at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi as a DBT-Distinguishes Biotechnology Research Professor. He obtained his M.Sc. degree from University of Allahabad in 1971 and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1975 on Structure -Function Studies of Analgesics/anti-inflammatory Agents. He worked as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Max-Planck post-doctoral Fellow in the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried , Germany during 1978-80. He was conferred the degree of Doctor of Science, D.Sc. (h.c.) by the Karnataka State Open University, Mysore in 2010.

Prof. Russell Terrence Hill


Title of Talk: Bacterial symbionts in marine sponges: key in nutrient cycling in coral reef ecosystems


Ph.D. from Microbiology Dept., UCT in 1988.
Marine microbiologist with interest in symbionts of marine invertebrates, marine drug discovery and microalgal biofuels. Director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology. Professor at University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Elected to American Academy of Microbiology in 2015. Fellow of the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. Published more than 100 scientific papers cited more than 5,000 times. H-Index is 42.

Prof. Liang Tong


Title of Talk: Structure and function of metabolic enzymes


Liang Tong received his B.Sc. from Peking University, Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and post-doctoral training at Purdue University. He was a Senior and then Principal Scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Ridgefield, CT. He joined the Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University as an Associate Professor in 1997, and became full Professor in 2004, the Chair of the Department in 2013, and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in 2015. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009. He has published many papers in journals of the highest impact (Nature, Science and Cell), out of a total of more than 240 papers.



International Keynote Speakers

Prof. Ashwani Kumar


Title of Talk: 16s Amplicon sequencing : Unravelling microbial diversity from environmental samples


Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, School of Biological Science, Dr. Harisingh Gour Central University, Sagar – 470003, (M.P.) India.

Area of Interest : Bioenergy, Metagenomics & Secretomics

  • Doctoral Degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India.
  • Assistant Professor, Dr. Harisingh Gour Central University, (June 2013 to till date)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012-13), Rhodes University, Grahamstown, SA. Under the Mentorship of Prof. J. Dames, Mycorrhiza Group.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (2011-2012), Durban Univ. of Technology, Durban SA. Under the leadership of Prof. Suren Singh, Enzyme Technology Group.
  • Awarded Prestigious Commonwealth Fellowship in Functional Genomics Lab. University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Under the supervision of Prof. Ravi Chibber.
  • Awarded Claude Leon and National Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship South Africa.

Published 24 research articles in Peer Reviewed Journals


Prof. Pratyoosh Shukla


Title of Talk: Microbial Enzyme Engineering Using Computational Approaches: Applications and Prospects.


Prof. P. Shukla is working as Head, Department of Microbiology at Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, India and General Secretary of Association of Microbiologists of India (AMI). Prof. Shukla was also awarded with Indo-USA Professor at University of Cincinnati, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from the Faculty of Medicine, A. P. S. University, Rewa, India in 2002. He worked at Gene Cloning Laboratory, CDRI, Lucknow.

Since the year 2000, he is engaged in teaching and research at various reputed universities of India. Meanwhile Prof. Shukla was awarded NRF-DUT Post Doctoral Fellowship during 2008-2009 in Enzyme Technology. His research interests are in the fields of Enzyme technology and Protein Bioinformatics. He has more than 13 years research (post Ph.D.) & 15 years of teaching experience in well reputed universities of India and abroad.

Prof. Shukla has wwitten13 book chapters, one patent, Edited 3Biotech (Springer Journal), published more than 65 peer reviewed international / national papers in highly reputed journals and more than 80 conference technical papers in biotechnology related fields, and served as the technique committee member in some international and national conferences. He has successfully carried out 9 (Nine) R & D project as Principal investigator and/or Co-investigator.

He received several awards, including Received ‘Prof. S.B. Saksena, Award’ in life sciences (1999), Best presentation Award (Senior Category-2006) by National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) India, NRF-DUT Post Doctoral Fellowship Award in Enzyme Biotechnology (2008), Danisco India Award in Probiotics & Enzyme Technology (2010), Selected as Scientist in Southern Ocean Antarctica Expedition (2011), AMI Platinum Jubilee Poster Award (2013), ASM Indo-USA Professorship Award (2014) etc.
He is serving as Editor in Indian Journal of Microbiology (Springer) and as Editorial Board Member & Reviewer in many journals.

Prof. Eva Nordberg Karlsson


Title of Talk: Enzymatic production of prebiotic xylooligosaccharides from agricultural by products


ENK is a Professor in Biotechnology at the Faculty of engineering, Lund University. Her research focus is on enzymology and molecular development of carbohydrate active enzymes from probiotic bacteria and extremophiles and their use in biomass conversions for applications in industrial and food biotechnology (producing oligosaccharides, glycosylated natural products, surfactants etc). The research is supported by European, Nordic and Swedish granting agencies.

Publications and Patents: >70 original papers, and >15 other peer reviewed contributions (reviews, conf proceedings etc), inventor of 3 patents, >15 deposited structures (pdb), >20 deposited genes (Genbank).

Prof. Tulasi Satyanarayana


Title of Talk: Production and applications of a metagenomic thermo-alkali-stable xylanase


Dr. T. Satyanarayana is Professor at the Department of Microbiology, University of Delhi. Main focus of his research has been on thermostable enzymes and their applications. He has published over 200 scientific papers and reviews, and edited six books, and has 3 patents to his credit. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Association of Microbiologists of India, Mycological Society of India, Biotech Research Society of India and AP Academy of Sciences. During 40 years of research and teaching, he has mentored 26 students for Ph.D. He is now president of the Association of Microbiologists of India.

Prof. Zheng Xiang Wang


Prof. Zhengxiang Wang, PhD on Industrial Microbiology and Fermentation Engineering.


Title of Talk: Enzymes bridge agricultural output to industrial products

Research interests:

  • Industrial enzymes: screening, cloning, expression, laboratory evolution, fermentation processing, structure-function relationship, application technique;
  • Industrial expression system: Bacillus licheniformis expression system.
  • Block bio-chemicals manufactured by bioprocesses: monomers (D-lactic acid, L-lactic acid, succinate, 1,5-pentanediamine, adipic acid) for biodegradable polymers.

Research outputs:

180 academic publications; 18 Innovation patents;2nd National Award for Technique Innovation


Prof. Xiuyun Ye



Title of Talk: Recent Advances of Feed Enzymes and its Application


Graduating from Hiroshima University (1995), Dr. Ye worked as a post-doctoral fellow in Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong.   A professor at Fuzhou University (2002), she leads the National Engineering Laboratory for High-efficiency Enzyme Expression and Research.  Until 2014 Dr. Ye also was the dean of the College of Biological Science and Technology.

To-date her research has resulted in 70 published works and the application for 23 patents world-wide.  Professionally Dr. Ye’s efforts with phytase and xylanase have yielded both profitable and socially beneficial solutions; the Chinese government has provided $46M CNY in grants to continue engineering industrial protein applications.

Prof. Fengyan Bai


Title of Talk: The origin and domestication of lager beer yeast


Dr. Fengyan Bai is Professor in microbiology at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He got his B.Sc. degree in Biology from Sun Yat-sen University and PhD degree from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is now the Secretary-General of the Mycological Society of China and the Deputy Director of the State Key Laboratory of Mycology, China. His research interests are biodiversity, systematics, molecular phylogeny and evolutionary biology of yeasts, with current focus on domestication, population genetics and evolutionary genomics of Saccharomyces yeasts. He has published 80+ peer viewed papers and book chapters.

Photo_Holger_Jenke-KodamaProf. Holger Jenke-Kodama


Title of Talk: The biological role of palytoxin: Really a toxin or a modulator of microbial communities?


2011 – present: Assistant Professor at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Okinawa, Japan
2009 – 2011: Junior Group Leader at OIST
2008 – 2009: Research Associate in the Lab for Marine Natural Products, Graduate School for Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
2007 – 2008: Business Development Manager for PALL Life Sciences, Europe
2006 – 2007: Researcher of the BRENDA enzyme database project, Insititute for Biochemistry, University of Cologne, Germany
2001 – 2006: Research Assistant (PhD thesis work) at the Institute of Biology, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany (Thesis defence: 17/10/07)
2000: Master degree in Biochemistry from Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany

Gefu 2015Prof. Gefu Wang-Pruski


Title of Talk: Management of Phytophthora infestans and Verticillium in potato production – the Canadian perspective


Prof. Gefu Wang-Pruski is a molecular biologist and a potato scientist, presently a Full Professor at Dalhousie University in Canada. She received her B.Sc. in biology from Nan Kai University in China in 1983 and her Ph.D. in plant molecular biology from University of Alberta in Canada in 1994. She was appointed as a professor at Dalhousie University in 1999 and worked there since. Dr. Gefu Wang-Pruski has 30 years research and teaching experience and has collaborated with researchers from around the globe. She is also extensively published, having written journal articles, book chapters, and technical guides throughout her career.

JohnDr John Edward Hallsworth


Title of Talk: The biology of chaotropicity


John Hallsworth is a microbiologist whose work focuses on elucidation of microbial stress mechanisms and responses, and understanding the biophysical limits of life.