Kirsten Benjamin works at Amyris Inc. in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently a Vice President of R&D at Amyris, heading the 60-person Biology Department and serving as the technical program director for several R&D collaborations. Amyris is a successful pioneer in the high-technology renewable bio-based products sector, with a track record of quickly bringing novel products to market via fermentation with engineered microbes. Kirsten’s technical leadership and coordination between R&D and Manufacturing have resulted in successful large-scale commercial production of eight fermentation products in the last ten years, ranging from an anti-malarial drug precursor to a low-calorie natural sweetener. Prior to joining Amyris 12 years ago, Kirsten was a senior research fellow in systems biology at the Molecular Sciences Institute, a postdoctoral research fellow in molecular genetics at the University of California-San Francisco, and a graduate student in biochemistry at the University of California-Berkeley.
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