Biochemical and Molecular Engineering XXIII: Accelerating Biotech Solutions to aid a Changing World

An ECI Conference Series

Dublin, Ireland

July 21 – 25, 2024
Royal Marine Hotel
Dublin, Ireland

Register Now for In Person
Early Bird Deadline: June 14, 2024

About This Conference

Nature hosts an impressive array of chemical structures, proteins, and pathways that humanity has leveraged to make medicines, solvents, materials, and fuels. Advances in synthetic biology have dramatically reduced the cost of DNA synthesis, and enabled rapid prototyping and screening across a wide range of useful hosts. These synthetic tools have advanced the complexity of questions that can be asked and supported the development of systems biology models that more accurately predict phenotypes and facilitate design. Chemical and biological engineers are now using these tools and the knowledge gained with them to tackle Grand Challenges facing society – such as the need for new medicines to fight disease and prevent pandemics, the need for new technologies to improve the sustainability of our industries and address climate change, and the barriers preventing expansion of modern biomanufacturing across the world. The Biochemical and Molecular Engineering conference series brings together researchers from across engineering disciplines and the natural sciences to discuss recent progress in this broad field, network with experts across a wide range of specialties, and brainstorm new approaches to address global challenges facing biotechnology and society at large. This will be the twenty third edition of a conference series dating back to the dawn of the recombinant DNA era. This year the steering committee is thrilled to hold the meeting in Ireland – an emerging hub for biotechnology and biopharma, where we aim to expand our network and form a bridge between North American and European biotech. We hope you will consider joining us for a week of fun, vigorous scientific discourse in the friendly atmosphere of Dublin, Ireland. Please spread the word to your colleagues, particularly your younger colleagues, so the 2024 meeting can add to the long list of successful meetings in this series. 

Conference Organization


Michelle O’Malley
University of California at Santa Barbara

Brian Pfleger
University of Wisconsin

Varnika Roy

Previous Conferences in this Series

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Kelvin Lee, University of Delaware, USA
Dr. Corinne Scown, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
Dr. Henk Noorman, DSM, The Netherlands

Conference Sessions

Call for Abstracts

Please choose one or more of the following topics of interest to pre-select up to three sessions where you believe your work fits best: 

  • Synthetic & Systems Biology
  • Biomanufacturing: from small molecules to new medicines
  • Protein & Metabolic Engineering
  • Automation in Biotech
  • Sustainability in Biotech
  • Building the Biotech Workforce
  • In vitro models & Cell Therapies
  • Democratizing Biotechnology

Abstracts (one page maximum) that include specific results and conclusions to allow a scientific assessment of the proposed oral presentation are invited.  

Abstracts must be submitted electronically and prepare according to this template:  docx or doc.

Oral abstract submission deadline: March 15, 2024

Poster abstract submission deadline: May 15, 2024

Abstracts of all presentations will be made available to conference participants prior to the start  of the conference.

Note: Only a limited number of oral presentation slots are available and thus all submissions for oral sessions will be considered for both oral and poster presentation.

Awards will be presented to the top non-student poster as well as the top three student posters.

Amgen BME Award Winner

William E. Bentley

William E. Bentley is the Robert E. Fischell Distinguished Chair in Engineering at the University of Maryland, where he serves as the inaugural Director of the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices and Director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute. Dr. Bentley obtained his B.S. and M. Eng. degrees in chemical engineering from Cornell University. After a few years as a research engineer at the International Paper Company, he decided to pursue his doctorate and obtained his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has been at Maryland since 1989, originally in a joint position between Maryland’s Biotechnology Institute (Center for Biosystems Research) and the College Park campus (chemical engineering). He has nearly continuously held administrative positions throughout his career at Maryland. He was Director of the Bioprocess Scaleup Facility (1994-2002) consisting of upstream pilot scale systems (up to 350L bioreactors) which facilitated many interactions with Maryland’s biotechnology industry. He started the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Bioengineering in 2002. He was Founding Chair of the Fischell Department of Bioengineering (2006), adding faculty, staff, an endowment, and a state-of-the art laboratory building to the Clark School of Engineering. 

Throughout his 30+ years as a PI, he has pioneered the development of molecular biological tools for enhancing recombinant protein expression, for understanding and manipulating cell physiology especially in biomanufacturing environments, and for engineering bacterial cell-cell communication (quorum sensing) systems. More recently he has focused on the interface between electronics and biology and has created “electrogenetics” for the actuation of genetic circuits using electronic means. 

Dr. Bentley has mentored 50 PhDs, authored over 400 papers and patents and has received prestigious awards from the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award), the American Chemical Society (BIOT Marvin Johnson Award & D.I.C. Wang Award, joint w/AIChE), the Society for Industrial Microbiology (Charles Thom Award), the Department of Defense, and the Washington Academy of Sciences. At UMD, he was named Distinguished University Professor and received the University System Regents Award for Outstanding Research & Scholarly Activity. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He is an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology. He also co-founded Chesapeake PERL, a company that made proteins using caterpillar larvae as mini-bioreactors.

List of Previous Amgen Award Winners

1993 – James E. Bailey (ETH-Zurich)

1995 — Daniel I. C. Wang (MIT)

1997 — Michael Shuler (Cornell University)

1999 — Douglas Lauffenburger (MIT)

2001 — Harvey Blanch (University of California Berkeley)

2003 – -Douglas Clark (University of California Berkeley)

2005 – -Eleftherious (Terry) Papoutsakis (Northwestern University/University of Delaware)

2007 — George Georgiou (University of Texas)

2009 – Gregory Stephanopoulos (MIT)

2011 – Jens Nielsen (Chalmers University of Technology)

2013 – Sang Yup Lee (KAIST)

2015 – Wei-Shou Hu (University of Minnesota)

2017 – Jay Keasling (University of California Berkeley)

2019 – Jonathan S. Dordick (Rensselaer Polytechnic University)

2022 – Robert M. Kelly (North Carolina State University)

Call for Nominations for Amgen Award


The Amgen Award (supported by Amgen, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, a leading biotechnology company with pioneering human therapeutic products) is given in memory of James E. Bailey to recognize research excellence and leadership in Biochemical and Molecular  Engineering. The award nominations will be judged according to criteria as set forth in this document.


For each conference, an award of $5000 cash and a commemorative plaque will be presented from Amgen to the recipient at the conference.


This Award is open to all researchers (scientists and engineers from industry, academia and government) in the Biochemical and Molecular Engineering field. It is expected that the award recipient will register and attend the conference. Amgen employees are not eligible for the award.


Nomination packages will be evaluated by a committee established by the conference chairs or designee.


The nominations will be judged on the originality and overall quality of work, significance to the advancement of the field of Biochemical and Molecular Engineering, and other supporting information in the nomination package.

Nomination Package

The nomination package must consist of the following items:

  1. nomination cover sheets
  2. a nomination letter of no more than 4 pages including a description of the nominee’s contributions to the field of Biochemical and Molecular Engineering
  3. a resume including publications by the nominee
  4. a maximum of three supporting letters from individuals in the field

The nomination cover sheet(s) should contain the following information:

  1. Name of nominee
  2. Present position (exact title)
  3. Mailing address (including phone numbers and email)
  4. Education
    • Institutions, including major or field,  degrees received and year of each degree
  5. Positions held
    • Company or institution, including time period
    • Position or title
  6. Academic and professional honors and awards
  7. Technical and professional society memberships and offices held
  8. Nominator’s name, address, phone numbers and email
  9. Nominator’s signature with date

The COMPLETE NOMINATION PACKAGE should be submitted in an electronic form AS A SINGLE PDF FILE WITH THE NAME OF THE NOMINEE, and should include the scanned, signed letters of support. 

Nomination packages should be sent by March 15, 2024 to:

ECI Executive Director, Barbara Hickernell
Subject line should read AMGEN Award and list the name of the nominee.
Nominations will be acknowledged. 

Conference Fees

The conference fee includes the following: Conference registration, accommodations (nights of Sunday (July 21), Monday (July 22), Tuesday (July 23), and Wednesday (July 24); check-out on Thursday (July 25)), meals (with the exception of Tuesday dinner), coffee breaks and excursion to the Guinness Storehouse on Tuesday.  Dinner on Tuesday after the excursion is on your own. Incidental fees (laundry, minibar etc.) are billed to your personal account by the hotel.


The conference fees are:

Register on or before June 14, 2024Register after 
June 14, 2024
Participant (single occupancy or sharing room with a guest; guest fee additional)US $2,495US $2,795
Participant (sharing a room with another participant)US $2,120US $2,420
Bona fide Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Scholars (sharing a room with another student/post-doc)
(Those in this category must upload proof of current status during registration – copy of current Student ID or a letter from your University confirming your student status)
US $1,705U $1,955
**Fees for Guest/accompanying person sharing bedroom with a participant. (Includes all conference included meals and excursion)
Guests/accompanying persons may not attend technical sessions.
US $680US $680
**Fees for Guest/accompanying person sharing bedroom with a participant. (Bed & Breakfast ONLY, NO meals and NO excursion)
Guests/accompanying persons may not attend technical sessions.
US $75US $75

If you plan to bring children to the conference, please contact Renee Smith for pricing.

Special Notes and Payment Instructions

We suggest that you register as soon as possible to be certain that you will have a hotel room at the conference rate.  

All participants are encouraged to register before June 14, 2024There is a discounted price for registering before this date.  Hotel space cannot be guaranteed for registrations received after this date.  Your registration is not officially confirmed until we receive payment of the amount due.  ECI reserves the right to cancel your room registration if payment is not received or your vaccination proof is invalid. Your invoice/receipt will automatically be e-mailed upon of receipt of your registration.  Should you need a signed receipt, please contact Renee Smith.

Because of contractual guarantees made with the hotel for room and meal functions, no shows, late arrivals, missed meals and early departures cannot receive fee adjustments.  If you have a disability and may require accommodation in order to participate fully in this conference, please indicate this when you register. An ECI representative will contact you to discuss your specific needs. If you have special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian or a food allergy), please make a note on your registration.  The chef needs to know this information in advance if we are to accommodate you. ECI will attempt to accommodate special requests such as Kosher or Halal meals, but such meals may not be available at all conference sites. The participant must pay any additional costs for special meal requests that ECI pays a surcharge for.

Payment must be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, and Amex), check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. dollars, payable to ENGINEERING CONFERENCES INTERNATIONAL. Checks or money orders in any other currencies are NOT ACCEPTABLE.  Payment must be made on the web site except for those who are sending payment by wire transfer or have a purchase order from their company/institution. 

WIRE TRANSFER PAYMENT: If you are planning to make payment by wire transfer, please contact Renee Smith for the bank information. You must add $30 to cover ECI bank charges. Please reference your full name and the conference title.  Please email a scanned copy to Renee Smith.  This is very important – otherwise it is extremely difficult to trace your payment and you may not receive a receipt prior to the conference.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation must be received by ECI in writing at least 28 days prior to the start of the conference in order for a full refund (less a processing fee) to be considered. The ECI auditors require that refunds for all conference cancellations be processed after the conference so that the necessary back-up information (e.g., hotel list of those in-house) can be attached to the refund request and ECI can verify that the hotel has not charged a cancellation fee. 

Cancellation fees:

  • Cancellations received more than 28 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a processing fee of 4% of the total fee, plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI. 
  • Cancellations received 15 – 28 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a $250 cancellation fee plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI. 
  • Cancellations received 8 – 14 days prior to the conference start date are subject to a $500 cancellation fee plus any direct expenses incurred by ECI. 
  • No refunds will be issued for cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the conference start date. 
  • No refunds will be issued due to inclement weather or travel disruptions/cancellations.

Registrations may be transferred without incurring any penalty or cancellation fee.

Denied or delayed visa

If a participant is forced to cancel due to a denied or delayed entry visa, ECI will issue a full refund if ECI has been notified of a potential visa issue at least four weeks prior to the conference start date.

Change of payment method

If an attendee who has already paid the conference fee with a credit card requests that the fee be refunded to that card so that it can be paid in a different manner (e.g., charged to an alternate credit card, or paid via check or bank transfer), a processing fee of 4% of the total fee amount will apply.


It may be necessary for reasons beyond the control of ECI to alter the content and timing of the program or the identity of the speakers. In the unfortunate circumstance that an event is cancelled, ECI is not liable for any costs incurred by participants in connection with their attendance.

Smoking is prohibited at ECI conferences and conference functions.  

Should you have specific questions regarding your registration, please contact Renee Smith

Pre- and Post-Conference Reservation

Venue Information

The historic Royal Marine Hotel is situated on an elevated site overlooking  Dublin Bay in the coastal town of Dun Laoghaire (often phonetically pronounced Dunleary), a small town on the east coast of Ireland, about 11 km (7 miles) south of Dublin.  The focal point of the town is an attractive harbor (a five-minute walk from the hotel) and seafront.  The town has an easy 20-minute access to Dublin city and all its tourist attractions through the DART (Dublln Area Rapid Transit) suburban train service (a station that is a four-minute walk from the hotel) and other transportation links, including a direct coach service from Dublin airport that stops directly outside the front of the Royal Marine Hotel.

Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

The Royal Marine Hotel occupies both a modern building and an ornate 19th-century structure with marble columns and a carved wooden staircase, opened in 1865, but probably dates back to 1828, and has commanding views of the sea and Dublin Bay.  It is regarded as one of the finest 4* hotels in Dublin.  The hotel, with its 228 rooms, boasts a range of high quality rooms and top class features, including Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minifridges, three bars and a lounge, a spa, a heated pool, sauna and steam room and complimentary parking.  There are plenty of beautiful coastal and countryside walks, including Peoples Park, in the immediate vicinity.  Free parking is available at the hotel.

Royal Marine Hotel Room

The conference will be held at the hotel’s Carlisle Conference Center.

Parking: The hotel has over 300 parking spaces available.

Nearby Sightseeing:

  • Dublin Bay Cruises (200 meters east of hotel)
  • National Maritime Museum (50 meters east of hotel)
  • Dun Laoghaire (0.25 miles north of hotel)
  • James Joyce Museum, Sandycove (0.75 miles east of hotel)
  • Dalkey Castle and Heritage Center (1.50 miles southeast of hotel)

General Notes

  • The Euro (€) is the currency in Ireland.
  • Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.
  • Ireland has variable weather – that’s why it is so green!
  • Electricity: 240 Volts AV Plug type: 3 large flat prong British type plug
  • Ireland has a strict ban on smoking.

Shopping: Monday-Saturday, 09:00-18:00 with later hours on Thursday; Major stores open on Sunday, 10:30-18:00

Tipping is a generally accepted practice in restaurants, bars, taxis and hotel rooms.  Check your restaurant bill to see if a service charge has been added.

James Joyce Tower

The James Joyce Tower and Museum is a Martello tower in Sandycove, Dublin, where James Joyce spent six nights in 1904. The opening scenes of his 1922 novel Ulysses take place here, and the tower is a place of pilgrimage for Joyce enthusiasts, especially on Bloomsday.


How to get to the Royal Marine Hotel (Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, A96 K063; Phone: +353-1-23000030):

Taxi: There are a large number of taxi services available in Dun Laoghaire.  Taxis from the Dublin Airport to Dun Laoghaire are readily available outside the Arrivals Hall.

Air Coach (from/to Dublin Airport): Route 703: Dublin Airport to Killiney/Dalkey.  Hourly aircoach service to and from the hotel front door to Dublin Airport takes approximately 45 minutes.  For more information, including a timetable, please go to

Dublin Bus: Dublin Bus offers a high-frequency, accessible and easy to use service all over Dublin.  A number of services operate close to the Royal Marine Hotel.  Bus routes that serve Dun Laoghaire and the Royal Marine Hotel: 7, 7a, 45a, 46a, 59, 63 and 75.

DART and Rail: Both the DART and mainline train provide an excellent service from many parts of Dublin to the city center.  The Dun Laoghaire DART station is a 4 minute walk from the Royal Marine Hotel.

Parking: The hotel has over 300 parking spaces available.

NSF Dear Colleague Letter NSF 24-057

NSF Dear Colleague Letter NSF 24-057

The National Science Foundation has issued a Dear Colleague Letter to notify the community of the continuation of a collaboration with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to offer supplemental funding to support NRT trainees to pursue additional training in Ireland in collaboration with the SFI Centres for Research Training. Supplemental funds can be used for reasonable expenses such as those associated with international travel to Ireland, accommodation and living expenses, local travel costs, attending and/or presenting at a professional society meeting/conference, participating in a workshop, or engaging in career development training, as long as the activity enhances technical or professional development skills and is well justified. Eligibility is limited to NRT-funded or non-NRT-funded trainees in an active NRT program that is beyond its first year and not in a no-cost extension. 



Sponsor Information

General Information about ECI

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a not-for-profit, global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962 that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Poster sessions will be scheduled for evening discussion as well. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

Smoking is prohibited at ECI conferences and conference functions.

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    ECI will make your hotel reservation directly with the conference hotel after your registration is confirmed. If anyone contacts you to make a reservation through a third party, please notify ECI.