This conference has been withdrawn from the 2020 conference schedule
As you are aware, coronavirus is having a global impact and the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control have instituted recommendations that include social distancing and cancelling conferences and large gatherings. Since safety of our attendees is always GRC's highest priority, the GRC Board of Trustees has decided to withdraw this conference and it will be rescheduled for 2022. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution and to alleviate the concerns of our conference communities that are scheduled to meet in this timeframe.
Lignin is a heterogeneous, alkyl-aromatic polymer in plant cell walls that plays a key roles in terrestrial plant water and nutrient transport, attainment of large stature, and defense against pathogens. Second only to cellulose, it is an abundant terrestrial polymer and a valuable precursor for sustainable synthesis of chemicals, polymers, and materials that can serve as direct or functional replacements for current petroleum-based counterparts. The heterogeneous, recalcitrant nature of lignin leads to multiple technical challenges in understanding lignin's structure in plant cell walls and extracting it in a useful form from plant biomass for targeted chemical and material applications. Indeed, lignin derivatives are a major bioproduct of the pulp and paper industry. Despite nearly a century of efforts, the cost-effective valorization of lignin, with a few notable exceptions, still remains elusive for most biorefinery applications.
The goal of the Lignin GRC is to bring together researchers from academia, government research centers, and industry working on all aspects of lignin including its characterization, in planta engineering, utilization, depolymerization, and upgrading. Interaction, discussion, and teamwork among plant researchers, microbiologists, chemists, engineers, and material scientists will be critical to move the field forward towards harnessing this abundant, renewable, yet incredibly challenging, resource.