Michael Himmel

Michael Himmel

1982 …2024

Research Activity per Year


Personal Profile

Michael Himmel has more than 40 years of progressive experience in conducting, supervising, and planning research in protein biochemistry, recombinant technology, enzyme engineering, new microorganism discovery, the physicochemistry of macromolecules, and all unit operations in biofuels production research and development. He has also supervised research that targets the application of site-directed mutagenesis and rational protein design to the stabilization and improvement of important industrial enzymes, especially glycosyl hydrolases. In his four decades at NREL, Himmel has served the lab by performing at all science and managerial positions leading to his role as an NREL senior research fellow. During the past three decades, Himmel has contributed more than 500 peer-reviewed journal articles to the literature. He has also edited 11 books, been awarded 40 patents, and has organized or co-organized many international conferences on aspects of biotechnology and biomass conversion.

Research Interests

Biomass comminution, pretreatment, enzyme hydrolysis, and advanced fermentation methods

Managing research designed to improve cellulase performance, reduce biomass pretreatment costs, and improve yields of fermentable sugars

Biohybrids, nanobioelectronics, and radio frequency (high frequency) vibrational probes of enzyme structure

Professional Experience

Fellow/Senior Fellow, NREL (2010–present)

Principal Scientist (I-II), NREL (2005–2010)

Staff Scientist (I-III)/Senior Scientist, NREL (1981–2005)

Education/Academic Qualification

PhD, Biochemistry, Colorado State University

Bachelor, Chemistry, University of Northern Colorado


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