February 26-28, 2018
North Carolina, USA

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Speakers

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Aaron Waltz
Director, Field Trials and Nutrition
Inocucor

Dr. Waltz is an accomplished agronomist and agrotechnologist, with expertise in crop protection, plant breeding, transgenic traits and chemical manufacturing (adjuvants) with leading agriculture companies Exacto, Inc., DuPont Pioneer and American Cyanamid. During his nine years as a senior research manager at DuPont Pioneer, he led field evaluations and germplasm characterization for transgenic corn herbicide traits. Dr. Waltz grew up in rural Nebraska, working on his uncle’s corn, soybean and farrow-to-finish hog farm. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agronomy and Horticulture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

09.00 | Moving from the Lab to the Field; Developing Commercial Products

Dan Knights
CEO
CoreBiome, Inc.

Dan Knights is a computer scientist, computational biologist, and globally recognized expert in microbiome informatics who has developed the leading methods for analyzing microbiome data. Knights is a consultant or scientific advisor to numerous pharmaceutical companies and other microbiome-focused companies. He directs CoreBiome’s informatics pipeline development and was educated at Middlebury, University of Colorado, and Harvard Medical School.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

11.50 | Powering Microbiome Discovery with Big Data

Andy Renz
VP, Business Development
Vestaron Corporation

Over 15 years of industry experience in agricultural innovation and business development. Andy held management positions at BASF, was Vice President of Business Development at Benson Hill Biosystems, and is on the industry advisory board of ag tech start-up’s, incubators and conferences. He has a strong network in agricultural solutions and is an expert in international negotiations.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

16.00 | Panel Discussion: Formulation, The Secret “Art” of Transitioning a Promising Laboratory Result into a Commercially Viable Product

Jane Fife
CSO
3Bar Biologics

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

16.00 | Panel Discussion: Formulation, The Secret “Art” of Transitioning a Promising Laboratory Result into a Commercially Viable Product

Bruce Caldwell
CEO
3Bar Biologics

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

17.05 | Panel Presentation: Advancing Science, Machinery and Technology to Increase Grower Adoption of Microbial Products

Roy Chen
Formulation Team Lead
ADAMA US

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

16.00 | Panel Discussion: Formulation, The Secret “Art” of Transitioning a Promising Laboratory Result into a Commercially Viable Product

Rebekah Kelly
Trait Discovery Lead
AgBiome

Rebekah Deter Kelly is a Molecular Biologist at AgBiome. Rebekah began her career at Athenix where she worked in the MiDAS group, and in the Vectoring group. After working for 6 years at Athenix, she left to continue her education and received her M.S. in Plant Biology at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 2012.

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

13.50 | Genomic Discovery Technology for Rapid Screening of New Trait Leads

Katharine Tyson
Biological Discovery Screening Coordinator
AgBiome

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

12.10 | Navigating the Arduous Path of Novel Biopesticide Discovery

Megan Lyman
Director, IP, Regulatory and Product Development
AgTech Accelerator

Megan Lyman brings experience in creating and supporting IP portfolios for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and Universities to AgTech Accelerator.  Starting her legal career at Jones Day, Ms. Lyman practiced in IP litigation and prosecution before opening her own practice.  With a focus in the life sciences, Ms. Lyman assists scientists and business people alike in determining a comprehensive IP strategy.  Her clients are guided from the initial stages of patent landscaping and freedom to operate, to patent prosecution, and through Inter Partes Review.  Ms. Lyman also provides IP diligence, licensing, and trademark support.  
Ms. Lyman obtained her B.S. in biology from Allegheny College, a Masters in molecular biology from the University of Colorado, and J.D. from Pepperdine University.

Workshop A

Monday 26th February 2018

09.00 |

Patentability of the Plant Microbiome: From Metagenomics to Consortia

Corey Huck
VP, Business Development
AgTech Accelerator

Corey Huck is a results-driven Senior Executive with more than 25 years of success across the global biotech and agribusiness industries. The scope of his expertise encompasses execution of practical applications in business development, investments, raising capital, acquisitions, marketing, sales, and new product launches in agribusiness. Throughout his career, Mr. Huck has held leadership positions at biotech and agribusiness companies including Intrexon, EnviroFlight, and Syngenta. He is currently the Vice President of Business Development with AgTech Accelerator, a venture capital & private equity firm focused on early stage technologies in the biotech sector aimed at addressing some of the world’s most pressing needs. He has been responsible for multi-billion dollar P&L management, architecting commercial marketing and business plans catalyzing numerous cutting edge developments in the agribusiness sector. Corey is a product of his family’s Nebraska farm legacy and holds a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Nebraska. As a seasoned industry thought leader, he has presented at conferences including BIO, Van Trump, and SynBio on topics of biotech advancements driving change in agriculture.  

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

11.50 | Agtech Accelerator - Discovering and Developing Emerging Agricultural Technology Companies

Ramesh Venkatramesh
VP, Discovery Research
Agrinos

Mylavarapu Venkatramesh has more than three decades experience in plant pathology, soil microbiology, plant biochemistry and metabolic engineering, including 17 years leading biotechnology discovery research. Prior to joining Agrinos, Dr. Venkatramesh served as the New Technology Leader for the Seeds and Biotechnology Platform at Dow AgroSciences. He has also served in roles across engineering, project management and research and development functions at Exelixis Plant Sciences, Monsanto and Renessen. Dr. Venkatramesh received his Bachelors of Science from Bangalore University followed by a Masters of Science in Botany from Madras University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Botany from S.V. University. Dr. Venkatramesh came to the U.S. for postdoctoral research in plant biochemistry and biotechnology, which included a 2-year visiting scientist position in Germany through an Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation fellowship.

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

11.35 | Enhancing Crop Nutrition by Functional Design of Microbial Consortia

Terry Stone
VP, Regulatory Affairs and Sustainability Programs
Agrinos

Terry Stone joined Agrinos as Vice President, Responsible for Regulations and Sustainability Programs in 2015. Stone brings more than 30 years of experience in plant biotechnology, regulations and sustainable agriculture to his position in Agrinos. As Vice President, Responsible for Regulations and Sustainability Programs, Mr. Stone directs all regulatory initiatives for Agrinos, working closely with regulatory agencies globally. Prior to joining Agrinos, Stone held leadership positions at Syngenta, The Scotts Company and Monsanto in matters of global regulation, biotechnology, sustainability and industry relations. He obtained a Master in Business Administration in International Business from the University of St. Louis.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

14.10 | Panel Discussion: Understanding the Regulation of Microbial Products to Support Future Agricultural Practice

Steven Vandenabeele
Chief Scientific Officer
Aphea Bio

Steven Vandenabeele holds a PhD in biotechnology (University of Ghent) and has more than 15 years of experience in plant biotech (VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology, Rockefeller University, BASF Plant Science). Steven has worked in the ag-biotech industry for 10 years: he worked at BASF Plant Science as a group leader Technology Management, as the coordinator for the high-throughput phenotyping platform, and most recently as research manager of the global rice yield project.  Serving in these functions, he has gained strong experience in people, process and project management.

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

13.30 | High-Throughput Microbial Extract Screening for the Discovery of Novel Biopesticides

Marcus Meadows Smith
CEO
BioConsortia

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

11.30 | High-Throughput Microbial Screening to Identify New Biologicals with Complementary Modes of Action

Adrian Duehl
Research Entomologist
Bayer Crop Science

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

10.20 | Panel Discussion: Demonstrating the Power of Microbials Through Effective Field Trial Design and Analysis

10.00 | Serenade as a Case Study: Bayer Steps Back into Microbials

Rob McBride
Co-Founder
Boost Biomes

Rob co-founded Boost Biomes, which began operations in January 2017, to commercialize an exciting new technology for engineering microbiomes. He has spent the last eight years in industry focused on leveraging the power of microbes to tackle key challenges. Prior to co-founding Boost Biomes, he was a Director at Triton Algae Innovations, a company focused on harnessing the power of microbes to catalyze the conversion of organic carbon into high value recombinant proteins for sustainable nutrition. Before Triton he was an Associate Director at Sapphire Energy, a leading algae biofuel start-up company focused on harnessing the power of microbes to catalyze the conversion of carbon dioxide into renewable fuel. He received his graduate and postdoctoral training in evolutionary microbiology at University of Houston and Yale University respectively.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

13.50 | Novel Approaches to Discovering Biosolutions for Agriculture

Richard Broglie
Research Director, Global R&D Strategy
Dupont Pioneer

Richard Broglie is a Research Director in Trait Discovery and Optimization at DuPont Pioneer.  He received his PhD in microbiology and was a postdoctoral fellow and Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology at The Rockefeller University.  He has led trait discovery programs for modified fatty acid profiles in soybean and canola oils and for pest resistance in corn, soybean, wheat, rice and sugarcane.  He served as Vice President of Research and member of the Board of Directors of InterMountain Canola, a joint venture between DuPont and DNA Plant Technology.  Rich has broad experience in international agriculture markets, and has worked in a wide range of economically important crops.  His most recent research involves the discovery and development of microbials that control soil borne pests and improve crop performance and yield.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

09.20 | Translating Microbial Complexity into Rational Products

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

10.20 | Panel Discussion: Demonstrating the Power of Microbials Through Effective Field Trial Design and Analysis

Ido Dor
EVP & GM, Ag Biologicals
Evogene

Peter Christey
Co-Founder and CEO
General Automation Lab Technologies, Inc

Peter Christey has spent the last 20 years commercializing research instruments for a variety of applications. Before co-founding GALT, Christey led the DNA Sequencing Business Unit and DNA forensic product line for Life Technologies. He has also commercialized new products for Guava Technologies, Chiron Corporation and Applied Biosystems. Christey has a B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Otago, New Zealand, a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Cambridge, England, and an M.B.A. from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

12.30 | Driving the Tidal Wave of Microbiome Discovery – a next Generation Platform for Exploring the Microbiome

Jonathan McIntyre
Head of Research and Development
Indigo

Jon brings broad expertise in innovation management, early-stage research, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, and business development to his position at the helm of Indigo’s Research and Development. Previously, Jon led technology organizations at PepsiCo, most recently serving as the company’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development in the Global Snacks Category. In this role, he managed a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and culinary chefs in the development of healthier foods and sustainable packaging. Prior to PepsiCo, Jon held high-level leadership positions at pharmaceutical and food companies, playing an instrumental part in the conception and implementation of novel technology applications and global platform innovations. In addition to acting as Chief of Development and Operations for Auxeris Therapeutics, a discovery stage biotechnology start-up focused on drugs for bone diseases, Jon served as Senior Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Solae, a food ingredient division of DuPont. Jon got his start at Monsanto’s Searle Pharmaceutical Division, where he worked in cardiovascular & metabolic disease discovery research.  He then joined the Nutrasweet division as director of product development before being named Chief Scientist of Monsanto Protein Technologies, a plant biotechnology business. Jon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Grove City College and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, where he also completed post-doctoral training.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

09.00 | Harnessing Nature to Help Farmers Sustainably Feed the Planet

Eda Reinhot
VP, Head of Regulatory, Quality and Bioprocessing
Indigo

Eda's experience and expertise in the biologicals and specialty chemicals industry includes over 20 years of market-driven and customer-focused product development and commercialization globally and regionally, technology transfers, integration of acquisitions, leadership and organizational development, and work in technical, business, and trade organizations.
Eda lead global research and products development for Becker Underwood which was acquired by BASF in 2012. She was responsible for its BioStacked technology platform development and technical aspects of commercialization. At BASF Eda was responsible for Seed Solutions technologies integration, directing Seed Solutions developments in Americas and technical collaborations with strategic customers. Eda has lead collaborative initiatives with US EPA, Health Canada PMRA and participated in OECD working groups. She has served as a President and Board member of Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers. She is a Vice Chair of Board of Directors of Biopesticide Industry Alliance. Eda has MBA from Iowa State University College of Business and MS in Chemistry from Tartu University, Estonia.  

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

14.10 | Panel Discussion: Understanding the Regulation of Microbial Products to Support Future Agricultural Practice

Tuval Ben-Yehezkel
CEO
Loop Genomics

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

14.55 | Next Generation Microbiome Profiling

Amit Vasavada
SVP, R&D and CTO
Marrone Bio Innovations

Dr. Amit Vasavada is the Sr. Vice President of R&D and Chief Technology Officer at Marrone Bio Innovations in Davis, California. He received his doctorate degree in Applied Microbiology from University of California, Davis. Since his doctoral training, he has been involved in Translational R&D, Process Development and Manufacturing of Bio-based products in Agriculture, Industrial and Pharmaceutical sectors. Prior to Marrone Bio Innovations, he gained valuable experience in biotechnology at industry leaders such as Monsanto, Chiron (Novartis), and Diversa over the last 30 years. His experience spans utilization of native and recombinant microbes such as yeasts, bacteria, fungi and microalgae for the production of commercially relevant products. Currently, he leads Marrone BioInnovations’ R&D efforts to discover, develop and deliver smart, natural and sustainable biological pesticides and plant health products as part of the integrated pest management programs for Agriculture.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

17.50 | From Freezers to Farm: Advancing Biological Assets to Farm-ready IPM Solutions

Adil Anjem
Pipeline and Innovation Lead
Monsanto

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

15.10 | Focusing on Consistent Microbial Performance Provides Greater Opportunities to Learn

Natalie Breakfield
Molecular Biology Director
NewLeaf Symbiotics

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

10.20 | Panel Discussion: Demonstrating the Power of Microbials Through Effective Field Trial Design and Analysis

09.40 | Testing M-Trophs in the Field: Maximizing Field Trials as a Startup

Maggie Wagner
NSF Posdoctoral Fellow
NC State University

Maggie Wagner earned her Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics in 2016 from Duke University, where she researched how microbiomes influenced the evolution of a wild perennial mustard species and vice versa. She is now a NSF Plant Genome Postdoctoral Fellow based at NC State University, studying how various breeding strategies interact with the maize microbiome.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

09.40 | Patterns and Consequences of Breeding-Induced Microbiome Variation in Maize

Jacob Parnell
Senior Scientist
Novozymes

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

10.20 | Panel Discussion: Demonstrating the Power of Microbials Through Effective Field Trial Design and Analysis

09.20 | Successful Field Trial Strategy and Analytics for Improved Microbial Understanding

Roger Bowman
Senior Field Agronomist
Novozymes

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

17.05 | Panel Presentation: Advancing Science, Machinery and Technology to Increase Grower Adoption of Microbial Products

Michael Barnhart
Scientist II
Novozymes

Dr. Michael Barnhart is a microbiologist with Novozymes, specializing in bacterial-plant interactions and bacterial genetics. He works in Durham, NC within the Monsanto/Novozymes BioAg Alliance working on application development of potential inoculants.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

16.45 | Following Microorganisms in Furrow and Field

Mariola Kopcinski
Director, Scientific Alliances
Plant Health Care

Dr. Mariola Kopcinski worked in the US and Europe in research, strategic marketing, business management, new business development and licensing.  She successfully led multinational and cross-functional teams in AgBio area to transform a product concept to a well-defined post harvest business of over $100MM.  Leadership role in turning around declining $200MM fungicides product portfolio into $350MM in less than three years.  R&D Strategy Development at two major agricultural companies, DuPont and Syngenta.  AgChem and Biological Product Development and Portfolio Management at FMC.  Currently leading efforts for development and licensing of biological peptides, plant elicitors, at Plant Health Care, AgBiological and Biostimulants start up company.   Member of Credentials Advisory Council, Sustainability Institute at AICHE, Chairman of Sustainability Body of Knowledge Team for AICHE certification and CSTP, member of IFS Managing Board.   Ph.D. and M.S. in plant pathology and biochemistry in Seed Biocontrol, post-doctoral from Cornell University in biocontrol, MBA in finance from the University of Rochester.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

14.10 | Panel Discussion: Understanding the Regulation of Microbial Products to Support Future Agricultural Practice

Day Two

Wednesday 28th February 2018

13.10 | Using Peptides to Contribute to Fungicide and Nematicide Programs

Mustafa Morsy
Professor of Biology
University of West Alabama

Mustafa Morsy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of West Alabama (UWA). He received his PhD from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Following Post-Doctoral work at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the Samuel Robert Noble Foundation, he joined the faculty of UWA. Morsy laboratory at UWA investigates the role of fungal symbionts in increasing plant growth and adaptation to various environmental stress.

Day One

Tuesday 27th February 2018

10.00 | Can a Single Fungal Endophyte Improve Crop Productivity and Stress Tolerance?