Opening Ceremony & Keynote Address

Opening Ceremony & Keynote Address
October 11, 2022; 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Join us as we kick-off the International Elastomer Conference with a short welcome from our Chair followed by the Keynote Address.

Keynote Speaker:
Judit E. Puskas; The Ohio State University
Judit E. Puskas is a Distinguished Professor at the Ohio State University. Her research is focusing on the integration of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment with breast reconstruction, in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic. In 2012 was one of the five winners of the GE Healthymagination Breast Cancer Challenge Award, selected from 400 international applications. She is the winner of the 2017 Charles Goodyear Medal, the most prestigious award given by the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society. She is a coinventor of the polymer coating on a coronary stent, implanted into over 10 million patients.

Keynote Address: Natural Rubber – A Wonderful Renewable Resource for a Circular Economy
This address will discuss natural rubber (NR) produced by plants by converting sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into a wonderful material. Despite a nearly 4,000-year history and the genetic tools of modern biology, we still do not fully understand how NR is made by plants. The exact structure of Hevea rubber, the commercially used NR, is still unknown, and no one has been able to isolate and characterize the enzyme complex catalyzing NR biosynthesis. The US has no commercial NR production of its own and now faces significant supply problems. We need to generate knowledge needed to understand how enzyme complexes from different species produce macromolecular structural variations, how to control these structures in domestic crops, and cultivate and scale domestic rubber crops to industrial level production. Even more importantly, we need to figure out how to make rubber products recyclable. We need a new Charles Goodyear to invent curing systems that are fully recyclable, but are we willing to pay the price? Can we create the “Silicon Valley of Rubber”?

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