Eminent biotechnologist to visit University

One of the world's leading experts in biotechnology, and a former scientific adviser to the UN Secretary General, is to give a lecture at the University of Sheffield on Monday 19 February 2007.

Dr Joseph Hulse, Visiting Professor of Industrial Biotechnologies at the University of Manchester, will define the meaning of biotechnology, the process of using living organisms in the production of foods and pharmaceuticals essential to human survival, and talk about its historical impact on civilisation. His lecture, entitled "Biotechnologies in the service of humanity", will also focus on how modern biotechnologies can be adapted to ease problems such as rural poverty and health care.

Dr Hulse began his career in Canada as a research biochemist in the Defence Research Medical Laboratories in Toronto. He has since served on numerous scientific committees and has held various high-profile positions, including Consultant to the Secretary General of the United Nations and President of the International Union of Food Science and Technology. He has published many acclaimed scientific books and papers on agriculture, food, nutrition and food security.

Currently Dr Hulse is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Manchester's Institute of Science and Technology and the Australian, British and New Zealand Institutes of Food Science Technology. He is the only non-Indian to receive the Conservation of the Environment Award presented by Rotary Clubs and the Earthcare Society of India. He was recently elected Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Bob Boucher, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "The use of biotechnology has long been a part of human civilisation and its continued application in the fields of agriculture, food science and medicine has led to some fascinating and significant discoveries. I welcome Dr Hulse to the University of Sheffield for what will be a very interesting lecture."

Dr Joseph Hulse said: "My lecture will address many aspects of biotechnology, from its history in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and India, to its modern-day uses and the opportunities agricultural, food and pharmaceutical biotechnologies offer universities. I will also address the ethical issues of the genetic modification of food crops, human embryonic stem cells and biopiracy."

The lecture will take place in the University of Sheffield's Firth Hall, Firth Court, Western Bank on Monday 19 February 2007 at 5.00 pm. Entrance is free, but attendance must be registered in advance by emailing Renata Ashton on r.ashton@sheffield.ac.uk.

For further information please contact: Tessa Humphrys at the University of Sheffield press office on 0114 222 1046, or email t.humphrys@sheffield.ac.uk.