Meet Our Leadership Team

MHarrison_Lab Background

Michael Harrison

Chairman of the Board
Michael has 35 years of experience in investment banking with interests in resource, energy, and biotechnology sectors. Michael has served as CEO of two companies that he led to successful exits totaling in excess of $2 billion. He has been on the board of directors for numerous international publicly listed companies and has raised more than $1 billion in funding for private and publicly traded companies.
DMorgan_Lab Background

David G. Morgan

President
David has more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in agricultural and biotechnology sectors. As a Global Head at Syngenta AG he was responsible for operational and strategic management of the Vegetables Business Unit operating in over 75 countries. Prior, he was President of Syngenta Seeds Inc. in North America, and Regional Head: Seeds, Syngenta Asia Pacific. At Bayer Crop Science, David was Head of Bioscience and member of the Executive Committee. David has a Master’s in Agriculture and Forestry Sciences from Oxford University.
Rebecca_lab_background

Dr. Rebecca White

Chief Technology Officer
Rebecca has more than a decade of experience within bioscience based industries, successfully pioneering efforts to commercialize algae as an agricultural crop. As a scientist with a strong business and communications background, her experience in both commercialization of novel plant-based products and technology transfer from lab to field make her uniquely suited to lead our operations team. Rebecca has a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Texas A&M University, and received her Honors B.Sc. degree from the University of North Texas.
Chris_lab_background

Chris Courts

Chief Financial Officer
Chris has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in the biotechnology industry, including a diverse background in leading IPOs, mergers, and public and private financings. Chris has a strong record of building high performance teams, aligning corporate strategy and vision, streamlining financial and budgeting operations, and cultivating investor relations. Chris is a CPA and holds a MBA from Marshall University.
jon _ Lab

Jon Bloodworth

Chief Commercial Officer
Jon has three decades of senior executive management and legal experience in disruptive technologies, with an emphasis on intellectual property protection and licensing, commercial negotiations, finance, and venture development. Jon holds a law degree and is a member of the State Bar of California.
edward lab background

Edward Cheung

President Asia Pacific
Edward has more than 20 years of experience in global investment banking at JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse, advising on equities and derivatives to institutions, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds. He is experienced in setting up new businesses, including a trading division at a U.S. bank, and has served as board member of several startups. He holds a B.Sc. in economics from University College London and a master’s degree in property valuation & law from London Cass Business School.
ron_lab background

Ron Deutsch

Chief People Officer
Ron brings more than 30 years of experience in senior leadership roles within the technical and professional service industries, from Fortune 100 organizations to early-stage entrepreneurial companies. Ron holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University, and a Fellowship in Labor Relations from the National Public Employers Labor Relations Association at Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations.

Dr. Pedro Costa Nunes

VP Research – Innovation & RNAi
Dr. Costa Nunes received his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Lisbon in Portugal. He is a plant cell and molecular biologist with expertise in epigenetics, DNA damage response, and smRNA mediated regulation of gene expression.

Dr. Laura Dickson

VP Research – Entomology/Vector Borne Disease
Dr. Dickson has a Ph.D. from Colorado State University where she studied host-pathogen interactions and the population genetics of the mosquito Aedes aegypti. She is a vector biologist with expertise in mosquito-pathogen interactions, the mosquito microbiome, mosquito field biology, and mosquito genomics.

Dr. Shujian Zhang

VP Research – Agriculture
Dr. Zhang has a Ph.D. in molecular plant pathology from the State Key Laboratory of Crop Protection at Nanjing Agriculture University, China. He is skilled in molecular plant pathology, plant biotechnology, and microbiology with a focus on plant protection and trait discovery. He also has experience in development of biological and chemical disease control products.

Dr. Tawanda Zidenga

VP Research – Novel Plant Products
Dr. Zidenga brings more than 15 years of experience in advanced studies in plant tissue culture, metabolic engineering, and plant secondary metabolism research. He received his Ph.D. in plant cellular and molecular biology from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in crop science from the University of Zimbabwe.

Dr. Tichafa “Tich” Munyikwa

VP Global Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Munyikwa brings more than 20 years of experience as a senior research scientist and global regulatory expert, working within industry-leading agricultural-biotech companies. In prior leadership roles at Monsanto and Syngenta, he was granted numerous patents related to agribusiness development, plant molecular and cell biology, biologicals, RNA interference, genome editing, and synthetic biology. Dr. Munyikwa received his Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Dr. Richard “Rick” DeRose

VP Product Development
Dr. DeRose brings more than 25 years of experience in agriculture biotechnology from prior roles at Syngenta and Bayer, developing innovation strategies for R&D projects. His background includes serving as co-inventor of the first commercialized Roundup Ready Corn varieties. Dr. DeRose was awarded the American Society of Plant Biologists 2017 Innovation Prize for Agricultural Technology for successfully translating discovery research into demonstrable, real-world outcomes. Dr. DeRose received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology and immunology from Wake Forest School of Medicine, and B.Sc. in microbiology from Clemson University. He also holds a current PMP certification.

David S. Kerr

Advisor Intellectual Property
David Kerr is an intellectual property lawyer partner at Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti, LLP. He helps secure and enforce intellectual property rights in countries throughout the world, and specializes in intellectual property litigation, including both enforcement and defense of traditional intellectual property rights such as patent, trademark and copyrights, as well as unfair competition, misappropriation, and trade secret matters. He provides strategic business guidance to emerging bio-technology companies, and has joint JD/MBA and graduate degrees in the molecular biosciences.

Michael Harrison

Chairman of the Board
Michael has 35 years of experience in investment banking with interests in resource, energy, and biotechnology sectors. Michael has served as CEO of two companies that he led to successful exits totaling in excess of $2 billion. He has also served on the board of directors for numerous international publicly listed companies, and has raised in excess of $1 billion in funding for private and publicly traded companies.

David Morgan

Director
David has more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in agricultural and biotechnology sectors. As a Global Head at Syngenta AG he was responsible for operational and strategic management of the Vegetables Business Unit operating in over 75 countries. Prior, he was President of Syngenta Seeds Inc. in North America, and Regional Head: Seeds, Syngenta Asia Pacific. At Bayer Crop Science, David was Head of Bioscience and member of the Executive Committee. David has a Master’s in Agriculture and Forestry Sciences from Oxford University.

David Rosenthal

Director

Michael Henderson

Director

Stephen Dellaporta, PhD

Advisor
Dr. Stephen Dellaporta is Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. He has served on scientific advisory panels at National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and United States Department of Agriculture. He conducted graduate research at Iowa State University/Worcester Polytechnic Institute and received his Ph.D. in 1981. His postdoctoral research was conducted at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Dellaporta is also Founder of Verinomics, a genomics and computational biology company working to accelerate crop improvement.

A/Prof Matthew Tan

Advisor
Associate Professor Matthew Tan is Adjunct Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor (Aquaculture) at the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Australia. He is Singapore Representative (private sector) to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – Policy Partnership on Food Security. Associate Professor Tan is also CEO of Oceanus Tech Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oceanus Group, one of the world’s largest land-based aquaculture companies.

Dr. Rebecca White

Advisor
Rebecca has more than a decade of experience within bioscience based industries, successfully pioneering efforts to commercialize algae as an agricultural crop. As a scientist with a strong business and communications background, her experience in both commercialization of novel plant-based products and technology transfer from lab to field make her uniquely suited to lead our operations team. Rebecca has a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Texas A&M University, and received her Honors B.Sc. degree from the University of North Texas.