Mar 2024

Invited Seminar

Building Partnerships and Enabling Discovery

Dr. Scott A. Walper
13 Mar, 2024
01:00 PM – 02:30 PM

This seminar will introduce students and researchers to the Naval Research Enterprise and the US Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG). Dr. Walper will describe his journey as a researcher for the US Navy where he worked to build capabilities in synthetic biology and biotechnology. Dr. Walper will highlight the efforts of ONRG and their mission to build collaborations with international researchers and efforts to support Blue Sky innovation. 
ONRG is the international arm of the Office of Naval Research, an agency focused on enabling science and technology for the Naval Research Enterprise. ONRG has been supporting international science in Europe for more than 80 years and is actively working to expand our support of foundational research in Asia, the Americas, and across the world. The US Navy readily invests in research across a wide range of topics, covering everything from artificial intelligence to synthetic biology.

Dr. Scott A. Walper is the Science Director for Synthetic Biology for the Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG), a component of the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), whose mission is to enable research and technology that benefits the Navy and the Nation. ONRG serves as the international arm of ONR with a mission of fostering collaborations with international researchers and enabling transformative science. 
Dr. Walper obtained his PhD in Chemistry/Biochemistry from The University of Southern Mississippi. His graduate research was focused on building portable, field-deployable biosensors for bacterial pathogens and included extensive work in recombinant antibody engineering and integration into analytical platforms. This work led him to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC where he continued his efforts in recombinant antibody engineering, production, and utilization as a National Research Council post-doctoral fellow. 
Dr. Walper’s post-doctoral fellowship transitioned to a tenure position as a Navy federal scientist. In this capacity he led a team of researchers focused on building capabilities in synthetic biology within the Naval Research Enterprise and the U.S. Department of Defense. His research focused on harnessing the natural processes of microbial species and re-engineering them for applications in cell-free catalysis, sensing, and materials development. Projects of the Walper lab included 1) the production of highly stable, catalytic bio-based nanoparticles for the degradation of chemical compounds such as pesticides; 2) engineering gut bacteria to sense and respond to the chemical signals of pathogenic bacteria; and 3) the production of ultra-thin, transparent cellulose films as a platform for wearable electronic devices. Dr. Walper also contributed to numerous other programs across the Naval Research Enterprise and other Department of Defense partner labs allowing him to contribute his expertise to diverse topics such as cell-free biosensors, phage-based therapeutics, recombinant antibody diagnostics, and nanoparticle-assembled catalytic systems. 
In his role as a Science Director of ONRG, Dr. Walper covers a range of technology areas from synthetic biology to advanced materials development. He funds projects around the world and supports Blue Sky science and foundational research through grants, travel awards, and conference support. These funding opportunities and his efforts support the ONRG mission to enable foundational research and to foster collaboration between international researchers and the U.S.

Event Quick Information

13 Mar, 2024
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM