President & CEO
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.
ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY TECHNICIAN
David joined AgriMetis in March of 2019 after completing a Master of Engineering in Bioengineering at the University of California Berkeley. While at Berkeley, he worked on commercial development of a novel cancer biomarker with Centromere Health, a small biomedical startup founded out of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Previously, David worked as a research assistant in the Leroy T. Canoles Jr. Cancer Research Center, a part of Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he performed research towards the discovery of early detection biomarkers in patients with prostate cancer, HTLV, breast cancer, and melanoma. His experience involves complex analytical methods such as mass spectrometry, as well as back end statistical and data science techniques. David originally received his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University.
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.
Senior Director of Business Development
Brian joined AgriMetis in May 2018, after a combined 10 years in the agricultural industry working for Syngenta and BASF where he had various roles in R&D and commercial functions in the biotechnology and agrochemical business units. In his present role, he leads the business development aspects of AgriMetis’ pipeline and product development as well as the company’s efforts in market and competitive intelligence. Brian earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Florida, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Georgia, and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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
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.
VP of ReSearch and Development
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.
Ronna Grossman-Schenker, MA, CPA
Director of Finance
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.
Thomas Hayden, Ph.D.
FIELD BIOLOGY LEAD
Tom joined the AgriMetis team in February 2019. In his present role as Field Biology Lead, Tom leads the design, management and interpretation of crop protection efficacy and crop safety trials in a field environment to advance the agrichemical R&D pipeline of AgriMetis. Tom began his careen with American Cyanamid and BASF where he spent 14 years as a Field Biologist where he conducted field testing of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides in various crops. He then continued work with BASF in their Plant Science division as an Agronomist where his responsibilities included evaluating advanced corn trials, corn herbicide equivalency trials, auditing genetically modified corn trials, and measuring efficacy of seed treatment products. Tom then worked as a Technical Manager with Cheminova, where he directed and managed herbicide, fungicide and insecticide research trials throughout the Midwest. He then spent a few years as a Technical Agronomist for United Suppliers covering the Southern cornbelt and South. After a merger with Winfield, he was Product Development Research Manager for Winfield United covering the eastern cornbelt for herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and adjuvants. Tom earned a B.S. degree in Crop and Soil Science from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agronomy-Weed Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Ellen Noel, Executive Assistant, has over twenty years of experience working with small and large companies in this role. She spent the bulk of her career supporting the executive team at Cristal Global, formerly Millennium Inorganic Chemicals. Ellen holds a B.A. in English from McDaniel College in Maryland.
Matthew Oberholzer, Ph.D.
VP of Technical Operations
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.
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.
Andrew Plant, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
Andrew joined Agrimetis as Chief Technology Officer in July 2019. He has more than 27 years’ experience in the agricultural crop protection and animal health industries in a variety of research and development roles.
Andrew has a track record in invention, innovation and delivering results through building and leading high-performing teams. He has extensive experience in leading external collaborations, establishing new research and development capabilities and optimizing research and development processes to drive pipeline delivery.
Andrew’s previous roles include Head of Research Chemistry at Syngenta (Stein, CH), Head of Lawn & Garden R&D at Syngenta (Basel, CH), and Director Drug Discovery at MSD Animal Health (Schwabenheim, DE).
Andrew is accountable for Agrimetis’s science & technology strategy, its R&D activities and pipeline delivery.
Andrew has a B.Sc in chemistry and a Ph.D in organic chemistry from the University of Liverpool, UK. He has authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles and patent applications.
Murray Spruill, J.D., Ph.D.
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.
Anuradha Sundararajan, Ph.D.
Director of Fermentation and Strain Improvement
Anuradha joins AgriMetis with several years of industrial experience in improving microbial strains and fermentation processes. She is well versed in all aspects of yeast and bacterial fermentation technology from strain improvement, product scale up to process development and optimization. Prior to joining AgriMetis, Anuradha worked at Paragon Bioservices where she was involved with several client projects that included bacterial and yeast fermentation process development. She also worked at Igene Biotechnology in Maryland for 11 years as a Senior Scientist developing and improving strains of Phaffia/Xanthophyllomyces yeast for commercial production of carotenoids. Her experience at Igene also include Bacillus strain improvement, fermentation process development, scale up and technology transfer to manufacturing sites. Anuradha obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and did her Post-doctoral training at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. She has a MS in Bio Medical genetics and BS in Plant Biology from the University of Madras in Chennai, India.
Rachel Witek, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Process Chemistry
Rachel joined AgriMetis in July 2018. Prior to joining AgriMetis, Rachel worked for seven years at Thermo Fisher Scientific, where she was involved in operations production site transfer projects of cell culture and analytical manufacturing processes. While at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Rachel worked with colleagues in cross-functional teams on the product development and commercialization process of media and cell culture products, such as GibcoTM 5-Donor Human Plateable Hepatocytes, HepExtendTM media supplement, and GibcoTM Cryopreserved Human Kupffer cells. Before Thermo Fisher Scientific, Rachel worked at Syngenta as part of the Process Technology group collaboratively developing process chemistry synthetic routes, scale-up and process transfers to the manufacturing site for Benoxacor, an herbicide safener. Rachel earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry under the mentorship of Alan R. Katritzky at the University of Florida Center for Heterocyclic Compounds. She continued with post-doctoral training at University of Florida in the Medicinal Chemistry department and at the Chemistry Department of Duke University. Rachel earned her BA degree in Chemistry at West Georgia University and studied hetrogeneous catalysis chemistry abroad in Montpellier, France in the laboratory of Dr. François Fajula, while participating in the University of Florida-CNRS REU exchange program.