Microbiology research at UNLV is receiving a big boost. Through UNLV’s Office of Economic Development, DuPont Industrial Biosciences (DuPont) has initiated a year-long collaboration with life sciences professor and microbiologist Brian Hedlund to research various microbes and their biological functions in hopes of identifying new and useful bacterial strains.
"We are excited about this new partnership with DuPont,” said Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development at UNLV. “The relationships UNLV forms with commercial entities like DuPont have the power to benefit both worlds in major ways. Our faculty can dive deep into their research and provide real-world experiences to students involved in the work, and private-sector partners can access top researchers in the field as well as the invaluable data and deliverables such experts can provide.”
Hedlund's research focuses primarily on high-temperature habitats and provides unique insight into the foundations of life in geothermal systems, the functions of major new microbial lineages, and the diversity of life on Earth. He collaborates with industrial and academic partners on a wide variety of projects, including those focused on the development of disease diagnostics and prophylactic drugs, understanding the human microbiome, and developing biofuels technologies.
Hedlund’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in addition to support from DuPont. Hedlund has published over 60 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including one in Nature Communications earlier this year, in which he and a team of researchers announced the discovery of a new bacterial phylum named “Kryptonia.”
“I very much look forward to working with the high-caliber researchers at DuPont,” Hedlund said. “This partnership will also expose my students to opportunities outside traditional academics, which is critical because it provides students with attractive employment alternatives to academia once they graduate."
About DuPont Industrial Biosciences
DuPont Industrial Biosciences works with customers across a wide range of industries to make products and industrial processes more efficient and sustainable. Through a unique combination of agriculture, biotechnology, chemistry and material science capabilities, we advance market-driven, biobased solutions to meet the needs of a growing population, while protecting our environment for future generations. For updates about how DuPont Industrial Biosciences is helping customers deliver cost-effective products with superior performance and sustainability, follow @DuPontBiobased on Twitter or visit biosciences.dupont.com.