Dr. Hal Alper is the Paul D. & Betty Robertson Meek Centennial Professor in Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and was a postdoctoral research associate at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research from 2006-2008 and at Shire Human Genetic Therapies from 2007-2008. Dr. Alper is currently the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory for Cellular and Metabolic Engineering at UT-Austin where he focusses on metabolic and cellular engineering in the context of biofuel, biochemical, and biopharmacuetical production in an array of model host organisms. His research applies and extends related fields such as synthetic biology, systems biology, and protein engineering. Dr. Alper is the recipient of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award (2008), DuPont Young Investigator Award (2010), Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2011), UT Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award (2012), Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel I.C. Wang Award (2013), Jay Bailey Young Investigator Award in Metabolic Engineering (2014), and Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2014).