Expert Details

Expert in Biotechnology

Expert ID: 738248 California, USA

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Expert is an independent consultant in the biotechnology field. She assists firms in bringing their technology to commercialization by working on early innovation, product development strategy, technical feasibility, and building work plans. In her previous role at Zymergen, Inc., she led a research team to the discovery of polyethylene-degrading microbes and a subsequent cross-functional initiative to develop products from upcycled plastics. Her areas of technical expertise include enzymology (structure, mechanism, and engineering), assay development, protein DSP/purification, analytical biochemistry, formulation science, microbial engineering (filamentous fungi and bacteria), and bioremediation of plastics. She is also experienced in managing people and teams. Expert holds a Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley in Biophysics.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2018 Degree: Ph.D. Subject: Biophysics Institution: UC-Berkeley
Year: 2012 Degree: B.S. Subject: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Institution: Marquette University

Work History

Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2022 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Independent Consultant Department:
Responsibilities:
- Assist startups in the biotechnology sector to bring technology to market by working in early innovation, product development, technical feasibility, and work plan development.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2018 to 2021 Employer: Zymergen, Inc. Title: Technical Team Lead Department: Enzymology
Responsibilities:
- Led a small team of scientists and research associates to discover novel plastic-degrading microbes and enzymes; subsequently led a small discovery program aimed at upcycling polyethylene to a variety of products.
- Assumed primary responsibility for client relationship with Sumitomo Chemical, participated in contract negotiations, and led joint steering committee meetings to ensure advancement through program phases.
- Secured internal funding for program continuity after external contracts were complete.
- Co-wrote federal grant applications, assembled pitch decks, and led conversations with prospective clients.
- Demonstrated cross-functional leadership in settings requiring input from scientific, executive, businessdevelopment, legal, quality, and marketing teams.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2018 to 2019 Employer: Zymergen, Inc. Title: Scientist I Department:
Responsibilities:
- Scoped and helped pitch a successful enzyme engineering contract with a top global agricultural producer and served as technical SME in business development calls with dozens of clients (many Fortune 50 and 500).
- Designed a novel, high-throughput assay for automated target screening in large libraries of microbial strains.
- Presented data at client calls and visits, and took initiative to reach out to and collaborate with our partner’s technical team, which was recognized by a founder-executive as being crucial to project success.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2016 to 2018 Employer: Title: Science Education Team Leader and Outreach Volunteer Department:
Responsibilities:
- Organized a team of graduate students with the Bay Area Scientists In Schools (BASIS) program.
- Engaged 4th/5th-graders in a monthly lecture and experiment on microbial cellular respiration.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2016 to 2018 Employer: Biophysics Graduate Group Title: Diversity Recruitment Liaison Department:
Responsibilities:
- Initiated and implemented an annual recruiting event to promote gender balance within the program.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2016 to 2017 Employer: UC- Berkeley Graduate Assembly Title: Biophysics Delegate Department:
Responsibilities:
- Represented the Biophysics Graduate Group as a voting member at monthly meetings.
- Authored resolutions and advocated for constituents on funding and campus issues.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2013 to 2018 Employer: University of California - Berkeley Title: Graduate Research Assistant Department:
Responsibilities:
- Investigated mechanism of cellulose degradation by polysaccharide monooxygenases (PMOs) via biochemical, spectroscopic, and structural methods.
- Discovered and characterized new PMO families from fungi with novel substrates and physiological roles.
- Pursued productive collaborations with PMO team members and with experts in other laboratories, the Glass Lab (Neurospora crassa biology at UC–Berkeley) in particular.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2012 to 2013 Employer: Concordia University Wisconsin, School of Pharmacy Title: Research Technician Department:
Responsibilities:
- Designed assays and high-throughput screens using liquid handling for multiple drug targets, dual-specificity phosphatase-5 (DUSP-5) and the Mycobacterium tuberculosis thioredoxin system. Identified hit compounds.
- Mentored three undergraduates and set up crystal growth facilities at Concordia.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2011 to 2011 Employer: Marquette University Title: Scientific Art and Animation Intern Department: Department of Chemistry
Responsibilities:
- Collaborated with The Scripps Research Institute on an illustration of cellular growth factor signaling.
- Created molecular animations of protein-ligand binding events for classroom use.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2009 to 2012 Employer: Marquette University Title: Undergraduate Research Assistant Department: Department of Biological Sciences
Responsibilities:
- Engineered a high-throughput screen to identify small molecule effectors of pyruvate carboxylase.
- Probed mechanism of mandelate racemase via X-ray structural studies of various ligand-bound forms

Career Accomplishments

Awards / Recognition
- Finalist, McKnight Prize in Biophysics/Computational Biology – UT-Southwestern, Biochemistry
- Barry M. Goldwater Scholar
Publications and Patents Summary
Selected Conference Presentations: 2
Patents: 2
Publications: 10

Fields of Expertise

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