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Biochemist Specializing in Agrochemicals, Biomass, Biofuels, and Insecticides

Technical Consultant #1890


Expertise

  • 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.

Experience

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,
  • Chempharma
  • Entomological Society of America

Awards

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.

Education

  • 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
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