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  • Jags Pandhal

Time at University of California, San Diego

This Autumn I was lucky enough to spend a month in Stephen Mayfield’s laboratory at University of California, San Diego. Steve is Director of the California Center for Algae Biotechnology and Co-director of Food and Fuel for the 21st Century ( The Mayfield lab ( is arguably the World’s best at molecular genetics of green algae, and crucially, their focus on developing algae as a biotechnology platform ventures from the sustainable production of bio-plastics, through to the generation of high value products, such as therapeutic proteins.

The reward for decades of excellent fundamental science are high impact applied projects through a variety of funds, culminating in two very exciting spin out companies, including microalgal derived biopolymers for making surf boards and flip flops…can you get more Californian than that?

I’d like to that BBSRC and PHYCONET for travel funds and Steve for being an excellent host. The plan is to work together on recombinant protein production in microalgae.

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