- Life science industrial biochemistry and biotechnology technical and strategic problem solving.
- Insecticide and agrochemical discovery and optimization.
- Biomass to biofuels enzymes, pretreatment and associated technologies.
- Renewable chemicals.
- Accelerated food pathogen detection technology.
Undisclosed Company, Proprietor, Present
- Agriculture, agrochemicals, renewable chemicals and life science.
- Serving domestic or international clients.
- Technical problem solving, project or strategic planning, business optimization and development.
- Current clients include biotech companies and the United Soybean Board (renewable chemicals projects).
E.I. DuPont, Inc., Wilmington, DE, 2006 - 2011
Team Principal Investigator and Technical Lead -Saccharification Enzymes
- Integrated corn biorefinery and DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol, (DDCE).
- DDCE Enzyme team developed strains for cellulosic ethanol plants,improving yields and driving down enzyme loading/cost resulting in enzyme sets in strains for biomass breakdown.
- Worked on gene discovery, candidate enzyme testing/mixture optimization and characterized residuals for further enzymatic hydrolysis.
- Characterized biomass enzymes - action on pretreated feedstocks and residuals using saccharification assays, HPLC, ion chromatography, MS and NMR in search for new enzymes with improved activity.
- Work culminated in select enzymes included in production strains and patents filed thereto.
- Developed higher throughput pretreatment designs.
- Supervised a research group of assistants with overall goal to decrease enzyme loadings through pretreatment and saccharification research.
- Worked synergistically with large group of Genencor and DuPont scientists to improve cellulase and hemicellulase mix.
- Formerly coordinated all agreements, evaluation of external company saccharification enzymes and technical reports for DOE (before formal collaboration with Genencor initiated).
- Developed miniaturized saccharification assays for assessing pretreatment and saccharification conditions, which were eventually broadly adopted in DuPont.
- Optimized enzyme mixtures and proportions for biomass degradation.
- Explored alternative pretreatments.
- Trained 3 new assistants and developed biomass conversion expertise during tenure on project.
Team Leader - CRD/BCSE project on enhanced bacterial detection, 2004 - 2006
- Enhanced Listeria genus detection speed in collaboration with CRD teammates and Qualicon in food plant environmental samples.
- Research involved microbiology, specific cell capture using binding proteins/magnetic beads, real time PCR (DNA and RNA templates).
- Project work led to commercialization of a Qualicon Listeria enhanced detection kit.
Senior Research Associate, Crop Protection Products, 1990 - 2004
- Discovery, optimization of crop protection products, specializing in insecticide mode of action and bioavailability/metabolism studies; using a variety of in vivo, cell culture, analytical chemical, biochemical, software (MS Office Pro, ISIS, Spotfire Pro, HTS automation software, DuPont agriculture network software) and high throughput screening techniques.
- Led bioavailability studies which, along with other team member contributions, resulted in discovery of DPX-HGW86 (Cyazapyr®) with improved systemicity while achieving high insect toxicity, non-target and environmental safety.
- Previously worked on bioavailability studies helping to identify DPX-E2Y45 (Rynaxapyr®).
- Co-invented and helped optimize, assisted in product launch of a novel sodium channel blocker insecticide, DPX-MP062 (Indoxacarb®).
- This compound has a novel mode of action, low environmental impact, safety to non-target organisms and high insecticidal potency.
- Supported Indoxacarb Ag Product Support and Renewal and Professional Products, provided business and marketing with research and consultation on insect resistance, mode of action, registration, bioavailability, and formulation issues.
- Conceptualized and led team to design and implement a series of higher throughput whole insect discovery testing assays to find and optimize novel lead candidates.
- Included work on Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Homoptera and other agriculture pest orders as well as some non-agriculture pests (Diptera, Blattoidea).
- Designed and implemented insecticide bioavailability assays in plants and insects using HPLC/MS and 14C radiotracer studies for plant and insect transport, uptake and metabolism studies.
- Designed, equipped and implemented a high throughput screening lab including liquid pipetting automation with software engineers for agrochemical discovery (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) working with multiple disciplines.
- Participated and worked in project management teams as both a member and leader, particularly for a large agrochemical discovery project.
- Initiated and participated in numerous other discovery and optimization teams to enhance novel, profitable pesticide commercialization.
Rohm and Haas Company, Spring House, PA, Senior Insect Physiologist, 1983 - 1990
- Studied biochemical and physiological modes of action and metabolism of experimental insecticides using variety of in vivo whole insect, cell culture, analytical chemical and biochemical techniques.
- Assisted in commercialization efforts while simultaneously elevating scientific awareness in Rohm and Haas research environment.
- Discovered mode of action and assisted in discovery and optimization of a novel class of non-steroidal molting hormone agonists with high level insecticidal activity, low environmental impact and high safety to non-nontarget organisms.
- Discovery helped foster an entire new area of research into nonsteroidal ecdysone agonists as pest control agents, which eventually helped Rohm and Haas commercialize 3 insecticidal compounds, and helped illuminate the mechanisms of action of steroid hormone receptors.
- The team later received the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Award for this work.
- Established a number of other insect, cell-based and biochemical assays and research initiatives to help in discovery and optimization of novel, profitable, safe insecticides.
University of California at Berkeley, Postdoctoral Research Entomologist, 1981-1983
- Pesticide Chemistry and Toxicology Lab. Studied metabolism and the oxidative bioactivation of phosphorothiolate pesticides to become more potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
University of California at Riverside, Riverside, CA, Research Associate, 1976 - 1981
- Conducted research towards the dissertation on factors influencing juvenile hormone metabolism in the cabbage looper Trichoplusia ni, especially production and regulation of juvenile hormone esterase.
- Additional research concerned development of immunochemical assays for pesticides and environmental contaminants.
Honors & Publications
Academic and Professional Affiliations
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- American Chemical Society (ACS)
- Chemical Consultants Network,
- Entomological Society of America
E. I. DuPont and Co. Agricultural Products Global Technology Accomplishment Awards
- Establishment of New Assays Leading to Discovery of Safer Insecticides
- Contributions in the Development of Mini-Metabolism Assays Leading to the Discovery of Safer Pesticides
- Development of Cell-Based Assays Leading to the Discovery of New Insecticides.
- Development of Enhancing Capability to Discover New Crop Protection Chemicals
- Outstanding Leadership, Innovation and Commitment to Achieving Step Change in Discovery Research
- New Class of Insecticides including E2Y45 Lepidopteran insecticide
- Broad Spectrum Insecticide
- American Chemical Society Team Innovation Award
- DuPont Corporate Bolton-Carrothers Award for technical achievement.
- Recipient of DuPont Volunteer Recognition Award for service on Charter School of Wilmington Board of Directors
Rohm and Haas Company Agricultural Products
- Received the Otto Haas Award - (Highest scientific award at Rohm and Haas).
Publications and Patents
- Author and Co-Author of numerous publications including 3 papers in Science.
- 20 patents.
- Ph.D. Insect Biochemistry and Toxicology, University of California Riverside-Davis, Riverside CA
- B.A. Biology, (Summa Cum Laude), University of California - UCLA, Los Angeles, CA