Michelle O'Malley, UCSB chemical engineer.
Sonia Fernandez

Michelle O’Malley has joined the ranks of Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg as a potential world-changer recognized by MIT Technology Review, but her field of anaerobic microbes is a distinct world apart. Some of us might recall that these microbes operate without oxygen to transform our gut flora into energy and do the same in compost piles and landfills. UCSB chemical engineer O’Malley is conducting research into anaerobes and their enzymes that could someday lead to much-needed biofuels from waste products, or compounds that create new medicines, for which she’s acclaimed as a Top Innovator Under 35 for 2015.


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