Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), the world leader in custom oligonucleotide synthesis, awarded the inaugural IDT ISO 14001 Sustainability Award to Dr Patricia Tavormina of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. Dr Tavormina's research focuses on naturally occurring methane-oxidizing bacteria, (MOB), and the role they play in limiting greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming.
IDT introduced the award to honor the achievement of its San Diego manufacturing facility in attaining ISO 14001 certification and to demonstrate the connection between the company’s environmental initiatives and innovative sustainability research being conducted within the local community.
The inaugural award focused on biodiversity research in southern California and attracted top talent throughout the region to apply. Dr Maurine Neiman, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Iowa; Laura Palfrey, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Botany at the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver; and Dr Mark Behlke, Chief Scientific Officer, IDT, judged the applications. Judging criteria included scientific impact, project feasibility, and the impact oligos would have on the success of the project.
Dr Behlke said, “Our products are integral to solving biodiversity challenges. The caliber of researchers and the depth of innovative proposals for this award were outstanding.”
Topping off the event was keynote speaker Dr Rob Knight of the Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. Dr Knight’s captivating presentation, “From the Human Microbiome to the Earth Microbiome,” detailed his research conducted with the National Institutes of Health on the Human Microbiome Project.
Elizabeth Walder, IDT’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said “IDT’s products are versatile tools that help harness the power of microorganisms toadvance research in biodiversity. Dr Tavormina’s research could one day be a key to unlocking some of the most puzzling challenges associated with global warming.”
Mrs Walder went on to say, “Our products enable researchers to identify and catalogue each and every species on the planet, to identify genetic changes that contribute to species diversity, and help us to better determine how each species can impact the environment. I am very excited that this new award will continue to serve as a platform to recognize and support researchers as they work to advance sustainability.”