AGRIMETIS TEAM

Steven Tuttle | CEO

Steven Tuttle

President & CEO

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Steven has been President and CEO of AgriMetis LLC since April, 2016, following years of global agriculture business experience and expertise.

Steven comes to AgriMetis with more than 30 years of global agricultural business experience and expertise, including a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology, agriculture and renewable energy industries. Steven is skilled in business strategy, development and organizational planning. His experiences includes building, running, developing and leading global businesses. Specifically, within the Agricultural Segment he has held several sales, marketing and commercial management roles. One of Steven’s responsibilities has been as global business director for the insecticides and fungicide portfolios within Dow AgroSciences. In addition, he has had responsibility as global business director for the Bioscience platform, Ventures & Business development and Alternative Energy Business (AEB) within The Dow Chemical Company. Steven served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Dow Kokam LLC. He has traveled globally since 1994 and lived for 6 years in Tokyo Japan. Steven will be accountable for building the team that will shape and accelerate AgriMetis’s approach to develop and deliver innovated molecules to the global agricultural market. He earned a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering from The Ohio State University.

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Lauren Dorsey

Research associate

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Lauren joined the AgriMetis team in August, 2017, following completion of a Master of Engineering in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Delaware, where she conducted research in biomedical diagnostics tools development. Before studying at the University of Delaware, she received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. She has professional experience in process development from an internship at DuPont Crop Protection.

Simon Aspland | VP of Business Development

Danielle Estridge 

Research assistant

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Before joining AgriMetis in June, 2014, Danielle studied at University of Maryland College Park and Montgomery College, earning degrees in Cellular Biology & Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology. Danielle’s professional experience includes an internship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), participating in research funded by the American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation on the use of 3D airbrushed polymer nanofiber scaffolds as grafts for the regeneration of damaged periodontal tissues.

Stephen Fields, Ph.D.

Director of Chemistry

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Stephen came to AgriMetis in November, 2016. In his present role as Director of Chemistry, he is in charge of filling and developing the discovery pipeline for AgriMetis. Stephen began his career at Dow AgroSciences where he spent 19 years in Discovery Research with an emphasis on Natural Products and developing methodology, design and synthesis of small chemical entities such as the picolinic herbicides. He then moved to Lexington Pharmaceuticals where he worked with Heartland Sweeteners in advancing the knowledge of complex carbohydrate chemistry, ultimately providing a new process for the production of sucralose, as well as providing chemical support for other companies. From there he moved on to one of the largest Contract Research Organizations (CROs) in the world, WuXi Apptec in Shanghai China, where he spent 3 years as Senior Director leading groups working with major international pharmaceutical clients. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1985 with Harold Pinnick and his doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Synthetic Organic chemistry, under the supervision of Prof. Ed Vedejs in 1989. He has authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles and patents.

Brian Green, ph.d. Director of Biology 

Brian Green, Ph.D.

VP of ReSearch and Development  

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Brian helped co-found AgriMetis when he was working at Acidophil with Philip Goelet, Ph.D. (another co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of AgriMetis). Brian came to AgriMetis in 2014 from Acidophil. In his present role with AgriMetis, he directs the company’s early stage research and development efforts. He had previously been involved in various aspects of company creation and management, including leading the research programs of ZuvaChem (merged with BioSyntha). Earlier in his career, he conducted postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University after receiving his doctorate degree in Genetics from the University of California, San Francisco. He has authored peer-reviewed articles published in numerous journals, including Science.

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Ronna Grossman-Schenker, MA, CPA

Director of Finance

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Ronna joined the AgriMetis team in January, 2017. She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master's Degree in Finance from Johns Hopkins University. She possesses expertise in valuations, financial planning and accounting. Ronna has served in pre-IPO VC funded organizations as well a large company where she built a finance and reporting function for a local Fortune 250 energy company. Ronna started her career with Westinghouse Electric and served in various capacities including Vice President of Finance for KAO (Goldwell), Director of Financial Planning for Constellation Energy and provided CFO consulting services for various start-ups and non-profits in Maryland, Virginia and DC.

Matthew Oberholzer, Ph.D.

VP of Technical Operations

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Matthew joined AgriMetis in January, 2017, after thirteen years with DuPont Crop Protection where he worked with colleagues to develop and scale up the chemical synthesis of novel pesticides, including Rynaxypyr® and Cyazypyr®. Prior to his work in agricultural chemicals, Matthew worked for six years in chemical process research and development for several pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Matthew earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.

Nadejda Pavlova, Ph.D.

  • Research Scientist

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Nadya joined AgriMetis in 2015 after working 3 years for Acidophil. She is a scientist with extensive research experience in different areas including biochemistry, enzymology, molecular biology, assay development and protein purification. Previously she worked in both academia (Tulane University in New Orleans and University of Maryland) and industry (Fidelity Systems). Her professional experience includes complete development of novel commercial chimeric DNA polymerases for PCR (TopoTaq and TopoTaq HF). Nadya received her doctorate in Chemistry from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia and has authored peer-reviewed articles published in numerous journals and books.

Murray Spruill, J.D., Ph.D.

  •  IP COUNseL

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Murray has extensive experience strategically developing patent portfolios, including drafting and prosecution, in- and out-licensing, and providing opinions on freedom to operate and patent-ability. He is a retired partner at Alston & Bird, LLP, where was a co-leader of the Intellectual Property Patent Group and the leader of the Biotechnology, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Team. On multiple occasions Murray has earned the Raleigh-Durham Area Lawyer of the Year Award for Biotechnology Law and he is listed in Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Intellectual Property and Biotechnology Law. Murray received his Ph.D. in Genetics from North Carolina State University and his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Philip Goelet, Ph.D. | Chairman

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Philip has extensive experience as a scientist, entrepreneur and investor. He has co-founded and invested in a number of biotechnology companies including Molecular Tool, Inc. (acquired by Orchid Biosciences), RiboTargets, Plc. (merged with Vernalis), Population Genetic Technologies, Arginetix (acquired by AstraZeneca), ZuvaChem and AgriMetis. In parallel he co-founded Acidophil LLC, an innovation partnership, with Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner, and Red Abbey Venture Partners, a health care private equity fund. His interest in utilizing molecular biology and biochemistry to assist agriculture began with the sequencing of tobacco mosaic virus in 1982.

John Atkin, Ph.D. | Board Member

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John currently serves in a number of board and advisory roles and is a board member of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, a non-profit organization. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer for Syngenta, from the foundation of the company in 2000 until 2014. He had earlier roles as Chief Executive Officer for Novartis Crop Protection, following a number of commercial and R&D leadership positions in Sandoz, FMC and Rhône-Poulenc.

Philip Austin | Board Member

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Philip is a founding partner at Anterra Capital, a leading specialist investment fund in the food & agricultural sector. He currently heads up Anterra’s US office, dedicating most of his investment efforts to furthering life science companies in the food & agricultural sector. Prior to co-founding Anterra, Philip worked in the principal investment team of Rabobank International (Amsterdam, Netherlands), supporting this global leader in agricultural banking to make investments in groundbreaking, early stage technology companies. Philip started his investment career with Atlas Venture in London, United Kingdom. Prior to this, he was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company's London and Washington, D.C. offices. Philip holds a dual degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

Roger Kemble, Ph.D. | Board Member

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Roger has served in a number of leadership roles for Syngenta, including President of Syngenta Biotechnology Inc., Global Head of Crop Genetics Research and Global Head of Technology Strategy & Integration from 2002, retiring in 2012. Prior to this, he held management positions at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a DuPont company (1991-2002), Allelix Crop Technologies and Allelix Inc. (1983-1991). In parallel to his industrial career he had an academic career as a professor at the University of Toronto with an adjunct professorship at the University of Waterloo, following work as an Assistant Professor at Kansas State University. Roger conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Florida and the Plant Breeding Institute, Cambridge, UK following receipt of a Ph.D. degree from King's College, London.

Derek Norman, Ph.D. | Board Member

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Derek is the Head of Corporate Venture Capital for Syngenta Ventures, the corporate venture capital group of Syngenta. Syngenta is one of the world’s largest agricultural companies focused on increasing agricultural productivity. Derek joined Syngenta Ventures as one of the founding members, where he is responsible for a number of investments across the agricultural value chain. Derek holds a B.S. degree in chemistry, with Honors, from Stanford University, a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Harvard University, and he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Steven Tuttle | President & CEO

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Steven has more than 25 years of global agricultural business experience and expertise. His experience includes building, running, developing and leading global businesses. Specifically, within the Agricultural Segment he has held several sales, marketing and commercial management roles. He has been global business director for the insecticides and fungicide portfolios within Dow Agro Sciences. In addition, responsibility as global business director for the Bioscience platform, Ventures & Business development and Alternative Energy Business (AEB) within The Dow Chemical Company. Steve served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Dow Kokam LLC. He has traveled globally since 1994 and lived for 6 years in Tokyo Japan. Steve will be accountable for building out the team that will shape and accelerate AgriMetis’s approach to develop and deliver new innovated molecules to the global agricultural market. He earned a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Matt Zuga, MBA | Board Member

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Matt is a co-founder of HighCape Partners, a growth equity firm that invests in companies commercializing high-margin life sciences products. Prior to that, he was a Managing Director of Syngenta Ventures. He was a founder and managing member of Red Abbey Venture Partners (RAVP), where he is currently a member of the Investment Committee. He is currently the Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alba Therapeutics, Inc. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Arginetix, Inc. and a Board observer at Advanced BioHealing, Aegerion Pharmaceutical, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals and Stromedix, Inc. Prior to his time with RAVP, Matt was Head of Life Sciences investment banking at Legg Mason. Matt received an M.B.A. degree from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.S. in Business Administration/Finance from The Ohio State University.

AgriMetis Board Observers



Andrew Senesi, Ph.D. | Board Observer

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Andrew Senesi is an Associate with the Beyond Healthcare Team within the TechAtlas division of RA Capital Management. Andrew's primary responsibility at RA Capital is to identify and assess orthogonal technologies that intersect with the healthcare industry. Andrew holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Northwestern University, where he focused on the development of DNA scaffold-based nanoparticle superlattices with novel emergent properties. His postdoctoral work at Argonne National Laboratories involved characterization of nanomaterials using X-ray scattering technologies. Andrew worked previously as an associate at the Chicago Innovation Exchange, a University of Chicago-focused incubator with an associated VC fund.

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS

Roger Kemble, Ph.D. | SAB Chairman

A G R I M E T I S   B O A R D   O F   D I R E C T O R S

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Roger has served in a number of leadership roles for Syngenta, including President of Syngenta Biotechnology Inc., Global Head of Crop Genetics Research and Global Head of Technology Strategy & Integration from 2002, retiring in 2012. Prior to this, he held management positions at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a DuPont company (1991-2002), Allelix Crop Technologies and Allelix Inc. (1983-1991). In parallel to his industrial career he had an academic career as a professor at the University of Toronto with an adjunct professorship at the University of Waterloo, following work as an Assistant Professor at Kansas State University. Roger conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Florida and the Plant Breeding Institute, Cambridge, UK following receipt of a Ph.D. degree from King's College, London.

Prof. Mervyn Bibb, Ph.D.

John Innes Centre

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Mervyn's research focuses on understanding antibiotic production and its regulation in actinomycetes, the major source of clinically useful antibiotics. The resulting knowledge is used not only to understand how these complex molecules are made, but also to engineer the producing organisms using synthetic biology to make potentially improved derivatives. Genome sequencing has revealed that actinomycetes have the potential to produce many more natural products than previously thought, many of which are likely to possess anti-microbial activity; work in his group also focuses on the activation of these silent biosynthetic gene clusters. He has published over 170 papers and is an Honorary Professor at UEA Norwich, Imperial College London, the Institute of Microbiology, and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, and Wuhan University. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), the Society of Biology, and the American Academy of Microbiology and of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Work in his group led to the formation of two JIC spin-out companies, Novacta Biosystems and Procarta Biosystems, of which he is co-founder.

Pat N. Confalone, Ph.D.  

Independent Consultant

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A graduate of M.I.T., Pat obtained a Ph.D. degree at Harvard with Nobel laureate Prof. R.B. Woodward. After a post-doctoral stint, also with Prof. R.B. Woodward, directed toward the total synthesis of Vitamin B12, he joined the Chemical Research Department of Hoffmann-La Roche. Moving to DuPont, his Bioorganic Chemistry group developed the fluorescent dye-labeled reagents that were used in automated DNA sequencing, eventually employed in the human genome project. With DuPont’s Pharmaceutical Division, Pat’s Medicinal Chemistry department discovered Cozaar™, a major anti-hypertensive pharmaceutical product based on angiotensin II antagonism. After 22 years in Discovery Research, he moved into pre-clinical development and his Chemical Process R&D organization carried out the chemical development of Cozaar™ and Sustiva™, a highly successful medicine used to treat AIDS. As Vice President, Global R&D, DuPont Health, Nutrition, and Crop Protection, he led 300 scientists to build a world class pipeline of novel products, including Rynaxypyr™, with world-wide sales over a billion dollars a year. He has presented >110 invited or plenary lectures worldwide, published >140 papers, obtained >50 U.S. Patents, and has been an associate editor of over ten peer-reviewed scientific journals. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Harvard Graduate Society Prize, the Alpha Chi Sigma Award, the Robert A. Welch Lectureship, and the Philadelphia Organic Chemistry Award. He was nominated to the Harvard Society of Fellows, is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was recently elected Chairman of the Board of the American Chemical Society. Currently, Pat is an independent consultant to the agrichemical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries.

Philip Goelet, Ph.D.

Co-founder of agrimetis 

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Philip has extensive experience as a scientist, entrepreneur and investor. He has co-founded and invested in a number of biotechnology companies including Molecular Tool, Inc. (acquired by Orchid Biosciences), RiboTargets, Plc. (merged with Vernalis), Population Genetic Technologies, Arginetix (acquired by AstraZeneca), ZuvaChem and AgriMetis. In parallel he co-founded Acidophil LLC, an innovation partnership, with Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner, and Red Abbey Venture Partners, a health care private equity fund. His interest in utilizing molecular biology and biochemistry to assist agriculture began with the sequencing of tobacco mosaic virus in 1982.

Daniel (Dan) R. Kittle, Ph.D.

Independent agricultural consultant  

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Dan received his Ph.D. degree in phytopathology from the University of Illinois and then accepted a post-doctoral appointment with the USDA-ARS Consortium of Integrated Pest Management where he conducted research on the interactions of diseases, nematodes, insects and weeds on soybean yield and quality. He joined Eli Lilly and Company in their plant science division and held various R&D positions across agriculture and pharma. He was leading the Lilly Plant Science Discovery function at the time of the DowElanco joint venture and subsequently was given a number of discovery, development and business roles before becoming Vice President of Research and Development for all Crop Protection and Seeds & Trait R&D divisions in Dow AgroSciences. During his 16 years in this leadership role, Dan successfully built an integrated network of internal and external teams recognized externally for transforming science into solutions that delivered one of the most robust and diverse new-product pipelines in the Ag industry. Dan is a passionate advocate for scientific outreach and education, an engaged participant in University advisory boards and an invited speaker on a diverse array of Ag-relevant topics. Dan has a rich family heritage in agriculture which dates back to the homestead act of 1862.

Prof. David Spring D.Phil.

University of Cambridge

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David is currently a Professor at the University of Cambridge within the Chemistry Department. He worked with Sir Jack E. Baldwin (University of Oxford) and Stuart L. Schreiber (Harvard University), before he joined the faculty at the University of Cambridge in 2001. David’s research spans the disciplines of chemistry and biology through the synthesis of small molecules, which are applied to problems in the life sciences. In particular, he has focused on diversity-oriented synthesis, new synthetic methodologies and chemical biology in order to discover new, biologically-functional small molecules. He has published five book chapters and co-authored more than 145 journal articles. His group’s laboratory has been awarded a number of research prizes including the Royal Society of Chemistry’s “Norman Heatley Award” and “Corday-Morgan Award”, and the Spanish Chemical Societies’ Felix Serratosa Award." He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). He has collaborated with many international companies in the chemical industries.

Prof. Huimin Zhao, Ph.D.

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Huimin received his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1992 and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1998. Prior to joining UIUC in 2000, he was a project leader at the Dow Chemical Company. He was promoted to full professor in 2008. Dr. Zhao has authored and co-authored over 230 research articles and over 20 issued and pending patent applications with several being licensed by industry. In addition, he has given over 260 plenary, keynote or invited lectures in international meetings, universities, industries, and research institutes. Dr. Zhao received numerous research and teaching awards and honors, such as the Elmer Gaden Award (2014), Guggenheim Fellowship (2012), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2010) and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (2009). Dr. Zhao is an advisor to the Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research program and the visiting principal investigator of the metabolic engineering research laboratory (MERL) in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore. In addition, he is the theme leader of the Biosystems Design theme in the Institute for Genomic Biology at UIUC. Dr. Zhao is an Associate Editor of ACS Catalysis and an editor of ACS Synthetic Biology, Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Scientific Reports, Biocatalysis, and Engineering in Life Sciences. His primary research interests are in the development and applications of synthetic biology tools to address society’s most daunting challenges in health, energy, and sustainability, and in the fundamental aspects of enzyme catalysis, cell metabolism, and gene regulation.

INVESTORS

Acidophil, LLC

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Acidophil utilizes applied genetics, synthetic biology, synthetic chemistry, bio-chemical engineering and information technology to optimize the discovery and development of novel compounds and related production processes for agricultural, industrial, animal and human healthcare applications.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (Alexandria Venture Investments)

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Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE) is an urban office REIT uniquely focused on world-class collaborative science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, with a total market capitalization of $13.0 billion and an asset base in North America of 24.5 million square feet as of September 30, 2016. The asset base in North America includes 18.8 million RSF of operating properties and development and redevelopment projects (under construction of pre-construction) and 5.7 million square feet of future ground-up development projects. Alexandria pioneered this niche in 1994 and has since established a significant market presence in key locations, including Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland, and Research Triangle Park.

Anterra Capital

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Anterra Capital is a specialist venture capital investor dedicated to financing the growth of companies operating in the food & agricultural sectors. We invest across the food supply chain in technology driven companies. Our fast growing portfolio is changing the way that global food supply chains operate. Enabling them to be safer, more efficient, and ultimately more sustainable.

RA Capital Management

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RA Capital Management® (“RA Capital”) is a crossover investment manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in public and private healthcare and life science companies that are developing drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. The flexibility of its strategy allows RA Capital to lead private, IPO, and follow-on financings for its portfolio companies, both facilitating the crossover process and allowing management teams to drive value creation with fewer capital concerns from inception through commercialization.

Syngenta Ventures

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Syngenta Ventures is the venture capital arm of Syngenta AG. They invest in early-stage companies that have the potential to help growers around the world farm more productively. As one of the most active investors in agriculture they have invested over US$100m since 2006. Their mission is to accelerate the rate of innovation in agriculture to support Syngenta’s vision of increasing farm productivity by growing more crops from fewer resources.