Speaker: Jonathan Trent, PhD, Senior Scientist, NASA Ames
receiving his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at Scripps
Institution of Oceanography, Dr. Trent spent six years in
Europe at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany,
the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and the University
of Paris at Orsay in France. He returned to the U.S.A. to
work at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale
Medical School for two years before establishing a biotechnology
group at Argonne National Laboratory. In 1998 he moved to
NASA Ames Research Center to be part of NASA’s Astrobiology
program. At NASA Ames, he established the Protein Nanotechnology
Group and is currently also an Adjunct Professor in the
Biomolecular Engineering Department at UCSC. For many years
Dr. Trent has been studying the molecular adaptations of
extremophiles—microbes living in extreme environments.
His study of extremophiles address questions in Astrobiology
and the limits of life. Using extremophilic proteins and
combine self-assembly with genetic engineering, his group
is also exploring how biology can be used in nanotechnology.
Most recently, his research team is studying the microbial
ecology of chronic wounds to look for ways of intervening
in the healing process.