Leading life sciences entrepreneur Juan Enriquez will speak at ISU Feb. 6

AMES, Iowa – Juan Enriquez, a life sciences entrepreneur and vanguard of innovation at the intersection of science, business and society, will speak at Iowa State University on Feb. 6.

Co-founder of Synthetic Genomics, managing director of Excel Venture Management and former director of the Harvard Business School Life Sciences Project, Enriquez is one of the world's leading authorities on the uses and benefits of genomic research. His company was a partner and major funder of the J. Craig Venter Institute's breakthrough creation of the first synthetic bacterial cell.

Enriquez will present “The Life Code: Changing Lives, Changing Business” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6,  in the Memorial Union Great Hall. It is free and open to the public. A welcome by Iowa State President Steven Leath and an introduction by Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill will precede the talk.

“Juan Enriquez’s message is very relevant to the work that we’re doing here at Iowa State today,” Leath said. “Juan realizes that innovation in the biosciences holds the potential to greatly advance agriculture, energy and human health, while also providing a significant foundation for economic growth.” 

Enriquez is an active investor in early-stage private companies in the life sciences sector. Synthetic Genomics develops breakthrough genomic-driven solutions for major global issues. The company focuses on energy and chemical solutions first, and also researches business solutions in human health (vaccines), food and water production, and the environment.

The author of “As the Future Catches You: How Genomics and Other Forces are Changing Your Life, Work, Health and Wealth,” Enriquez also was a guest curator with Bill Gates for the 2011 TED conference. He previously served as CEO of Mexico City’s Urban Development Corp. and chief of staff for Mexico’s secretary of state.

Enriquez holds undergraduate and M.B.A. degrees from Harvard University, and is a member of the Harvard Medical School Genetics Advisory Council.

Enriquez’s presentation is co-sponsored by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, ISU's Office of the President and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body. More information about ISU lectures is available online at http://www.lectures.iastate.edu, or by calling 515-294-9935.