Pebble Labs Builds Science Team with Four Research Hires

LOS ALAMOS, N.M.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pebble Labs Inc., the biotechnology company developing biologically engineered solutions to eliminate the transmission of mosquito-carried diseases including Zika and Dengue, today announced the hiring of four Research Scientists to join Dr. Richard Sayre, Chief Scientific Officer and co- founder of Pebble Labs.

“Pebble Labs is building and investing in a biotechnology solution that has the potential to stop the global spread of Zika, Dengue, Yellow Fever and host of other tragic human, plant and aquaculture diseases, and to do so without harming the environment,” said Michael Harrison, Pebble Labs CEO. “Dr. Sayre and his growing team of best- in-class scientists are pioneering technology that can positively impact the lives of millions of people for generations to come.”

“I’m proud to lead such a high caliber team that is truly breaking new ground in the fight against vector-borne diseases,” said Dr. Sayre. In addition to his role at Pebble Labs, Dr. Sayre is one of the top research scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the New Mexico Consortium, and author or more than 130 biotechnology papers and patents.

Pebble Labs said it hired four full-time Research Scientists:

  • Dr. Konstantinos Lymperopoulos holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Oxford with a background in chemistry, virology and biophysics. He spent more than 10 years at the BioQuant Institute and the University of Oxford as a research scientist. His expertise lies in bio-molecular interactions, novel technology platforms and gene therapy and he has authored more than 11 publications.
  • Dr. Pedro Miguel Melo da Costa Nunes holds a PhD in biology from Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. He was most recently a Research Scientist at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. He has expertise in RNA. He has authored more than 17 publications, with two in preparation.
  • Dr. Tatiana Vinogradova-Shah has a PhD in Cell Biology from the Institute of Experimental Cardiology in Moscow, Russia, and has expertise in cell and development biology. Previously, she held positions at the Wadsworth Center and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is author of more than 11 publications.
  • Dr. Guohau (Karen) Yin has a PhD in Molecular Plant Pathology from the State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology in Shandong, China. She previously held positions as a research scientist at the University of Arizona, Rutgers University, University of Arkansas and Tel Aviv University. Dr. Yin has expertise in molecular biology and biotechnology such as next-generation sequencing and re-sequencing. She is the author of 45 publications, with another 11 under review or in preparation.

The growing Pebble Labs scientific research team is based at the New Mexico Consortium working out of the Los Alamos National Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Sayre.

Pebble Labs’ Approach

Pebble Labs’ mission is disease control and food-security by combating mosquito-borne and other viral- and fungal-based diseases in crops and aquaculture which, if left untreated, result in untold human tragedy and annual global monetary losses of more than $150 billion. The technology prevents the transmission of viral and fungal disease and does not have any negative human, eco-system or environmental impact.

The approach is a scientific breakthrough leveraging technology and biology that has been developed over the last 10 years in the US’s top national labs and
universities. The solution naturally hinders an organism’s ability to replicate targeted viruses via proprietary and patent-pending food-source bacteria designed to block virus replication. This is completely safe for all other organisms—including the targeted organism. The bacteria can be applied cost-effectively in affected areas across the globe.

Pebble Labs uses an innovative “distributed” model for scientific research, collaborating with world class experts in academia and the private sector. Pebble Labs retains control over operations and ownership for all core IP. The company coordinates research from one central location (The New Mexico Consortium) and uses world class facilities at Colorado State University, the New Mexico State University, the National Center for Genome Resources and others for research. Research is supplemented with the oversight of a Scientific Advisory Board.

About Pebble Labs

Founded at the New Mexico Consortium, Pebble Labs Inc. is a biotechnology company developing biologically engineered bacteria to eliminate the transmission of mosquito-carried viruses including Zika and Dengue and other viral- and fungal-based diseases in crops and aquaculture.