The Lignin GRC is a premier, international scientific conference focused on advancing the frontiers of science through the presentation of cutting-edge and unpublished research, prioritizing time for discussion after each talk and fostering informal interactions among scientists of all career stages. The conference program includes a diverse range of speakers and discussion leaders from institutions and organizations worldwide, concentrating on the latest developments in the field. The conference is five days long and held in a remote location to increase the sense of camaraderie and create scientific communities, with lasting collaborations and friendships. In addition to premier talks, the conference has designated time for poster sessions from individuals of all career stages, and afternoon free time and communal meals allow for informal networking opportunities with leaders in the field.
The 2024 Lignin GRC, The science and cutting-edge engineering of lignin, will focus on synthesis, isolation, characterization, and utilization of the most abundant biological source of aromatic molecules -- lignin from terrestrial plant cell walls. Lignin plays a key role in plant water and nutrient transport, attainment of large stature, and defense against pathogens. In addition to aromaticity, its reduced state relative to carbohydrates, render lignin a valuable precursor for sustainable synthesis of chemicals, polymers, and materials that can serve as direct or improved replacements for current petroleum-based counterparts, including marine and aviation fuels, plastics, detergents, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals and materials. Still, 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 biorefining. Indeed, despite over a century of efforts, cost-effective valorization of lignin is just beginning to show promise.
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 are critical to continuing advances towards harnessing this abundant, renewable, yet challenging, resource.
Several speakers will be selected from submitted abstracts. If you are at a career stage that would particularly benefit from such an opportunity (e.g., searching for a position) and would like to give a talk, please indicate that in your “activities” description.