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Microorganisms are the future, but they have also been our past. Join us as Biochemical Engineer Michael Sulu delves into the distant past to consider their use, looks at more recent history, and predicts what might happen in their future. How do microorganisms interact with individuals and society, and how can they be used to produce therapeutics that help us live longer, more fulfilling lives?

Biological processes using microorganisms have been around for thousands of years. Due to their toughness, they have bought the solution to many problems, such as antibiotics. However, the speed of their evolution can also create problems – such as antibiotic resistance! In turn, this speed can help solve new problems facing society like plastic degradation.

Michael will argue that advances in the ways in which we can manipulate these microorganisms and expansion in the types of single celled organism we can grow, have the potential to solve many of society’s problems – especially those that involve feeding, fuelling and healing future populations.

Michael Sulu is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCL in the department of Biochemical Engineering, working with primarily Microorganism. Michael has graduated with degrees from UCL, the University of York and University of Birmingham.

Michael’s work encompasses cell growth and metabolism, and using microbes to produce more useful products from simple starting materials. This area has taken him from Beer to pharmaceutical production (through Fuels). His current areas of work involve vaccine production and biopharmaceuticals, and he has a growing interest in future foods. Alongside Engineering research and education, Michael is also active in the areas of Widening Participation, Science communication, Public Engagement and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion with Engineering and HE.

This event will be filmed and on the Ri’s YouTube channel within a few months.