Professor Michelle O'Malley has been chosen to receive the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her work in deciphering the role of enzymes in the gut fungal microbiome. The award is the highest honor the nation can bestow on a scientist or engineer at the beginning of his or her career. Professor O’Malley is one of 105 PECASE recipients for 2016. The award recognizes some of the finest scientists and engineers who show exceptional potential for leadership in advancing scientific knowledge in the 21st century.
Professor O'Malley's current research, recently published in Science and profiled on BBC News, focuses on the biotech potential of microbes, which may have significant applications in the realms of renewable energy and advanced chemicals. Her most recent work investigates the functions of relatively little-understood anaerobic gut fungi — primitive microbes found mainly in large herbivores — whose unique functions and enzymes may offer new sources of biofuels and methods of producing next-generation pharmaceuticals.
Read the full story about Professor O'Malley's PECASE Award: The UCSB Current: UCSB Chemical Engineer to Recieve Presidential Award - Michelle O'Malley is recognized for her innovative research at the frontiers of science
Read the full story about Professor O'Malley's research: The UCSB Current: A Primitive Advance: UCSB Scientists help unlock secrets of ancient anaerobic gut fungi