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  • [ July 11, 2011]

    Steven Chen attends international conference in applied phycology

  • Professor Steven Feng Chen attended the 4th International Congress of the International Society for Applied Phycology (ISAP) held in Halifax, Canada June 19-24 and gave a plenary lecture entitled “High-value Products from Microalgae: Current Status and Potential New Compounds” as one of the four keynote speakers.

    In recent years, microalgae biotechnology research has attracted large attention of the whole society. Due to their high photosynthetic efficiency and richness in oil, microalgae are considered not only the best renewable bio-energy, but also natural products, drugs, and food (especially functional food) resources in abundance. Take the blue-green algae as example, their primary photosynthetic productivity accounts for 30% of that of the whole Earth’s. Species of microalgae on Earth is estimated at 800,000, among which only 20-30 have been in commercial application, which indicates the tremendous potential of algal biotechnology.

    Professor Chen's lecture summarized the recent progress in microalgae biotechnology and the associated theoretical fundamentals, and focused on the current status and potential of microalgae in producing natural products, drugs and functional foods. Speaking about his latest research, Chen demonstrated the feasibility of developing microalgae genetic resources. During the meeting, Chen also received a television interview on microalgae bio-energy from MBC (South Korea).

    The 2011 Congress was held under the auspices of ISAP, and organized in collaboration with Canada’s National Research Council – Institute for Marine Biosciences. The theme of the conference is “Scaling-up for New Opportunities in Applied Phycology”. Topics include algae biofuel, algae and environment/ecology, algal biotoxin, high-value products and functional food from microalgae, algae genome and algae production – scaling up. Over 300 representatives from more than 30 countries and regions attended the conference and gave more than 250 oral and poster presentations.

    ISAP President Sammy Boussiba and Co-Chair of the Local Organizing Committee for ISAP 2011 Alan Critchley present prize to Chen