From Freshmen Friends to Biotech Partners

Thanks to eScienceCommons for pointing out the New York Times feature about Solazyme, a company founded by two Emory grads who are using algae to create clean fuel and other products. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Starting when they became friends in freshman year at Emory University in Atlanta, Jonathan S. Wolfson and Harrison F. Dillon would take off into the mountains of Wyoming and Colorado for weeks at time. They spent their days hiking in the wilderness and their nights drinking bourbon by the campfire, talking big about how one day they would build a company that would help preserve the environment they both loved.

“They graduated, and the backpacking trips grew shorter and further between. Mr. Dillon went on to earn a PhD in genetics and a law degree, and ended up working as a biotech patent lawyer in Silicon Valley. Mr. Wolfson received law and business degrees from New York University and eventually started a software business. But the two still got together every year. And they kept talking about the company that, they imagined as time went on, would use biotechnology to create renewable energy.”

Read the whole article in The New York Times.


Trethewey Appointed to Second Term as U.S. Laureate

Natasha Trethewey, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing and director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University, has been appointed to serve a second term as U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

“The Library and the country are fortunate Natasha Trethewey will continue her work as Poet Laureate,” says Billington. “Natasha’s first term was a resounding success, and we could not be more thrilled with her plans for the coming year.”

“All of us on the Emory campus, along with members of the broader Emory community, are proud and enthusiastically supportive of the work Natasha has done to share the creative power of poetry with the entire nation,” says Robin Forman, dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences. “Throughout this past year, with the increasingly overwhelming demands on her time, Natasha has remained engaged with our students, and with our Creative Writing program, and we look forward to another year of having Emory’s commitment to the humanities energized by her work as Poet Laureate.”

During her second term she will undertake a regular feature on the PBS NewsHour Poetry Series where she will team up with a NewsHour correspondent to do a series of on-location reports exploring social issues in various U.S. cities.

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Looking for a Good Summer Read by an Emory Author?

Susan Rebecca White, a lecturer in the Creative Writing Program, is receiving great early notices on her third book, A Place at the Table, from booksellers. The American Booksellers Association chose it for its “Indie Next List” for June of 2013 (an honor it shares with the debut novel of Emory’s own alum, Anton Dislafani) and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has selected it as a 2013 Summer “Okra Pick.

The fictional book has Georgia roots, just like its author (born and raised in Atlanta). White’s story was inspired by the true-life relationship between Edna Lewis, a well-known African-American chef and author of the classic A Taste of Country Cooking, who was befriended in her later years by chef Scott Peacock, both of whom lived in Atlanta for quite a few years.

You can learn more about the book and read excerpts on White’s homepage.

Combining Human Health with Business

Eddie Kovel 13C, a business major with a predictive health minor, talks about his innovative business idea, an exercise card game (Playout: The Game), which grew out of his human health studies at Emory.

The field of human health is undergoing a dramatic transformation because of medical breakthroughs and social/demographic changes. As a new model that understands health as a positive condition rather than the mere absence of disease, it holds the promise of improving the well-being of individuals and communities throughout the world. One of the fastest growing sectors in the economy, the human health field is creating new opportunities in medicine, business, law, public policy, the arts, and elsewhere.

In higher education, the Emory Center for the Study of Human Health represents one of the first comprehensive efforts to bring together the resources of a major research university to advance knowledge and undergraduate education in this critical area.

Human Health YouTube Channel