Dr. Andrew Mort (President and Co-founder)
Dr. Andrew Mort is Jess L. and Miriam B Stevens Chair in Agricultural Biotechnology and Regents Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Oklahoma State University. He is a world expert in plant cell wall structures, structure and function of glycoproteins and polysaccharides in plant pathogenesis and enzymatic bioconversion for biofuel production. He has published 70+ research articles and 10+ book chapters, and has received continuous research support from USDA, DOE as well as several Oklahoma State funding initiatives.
Dr. Mort’s research group is determining key aspects of the structure of plant cell walls. Novel chemical methods and enzymes, most of them cloned in Pichia pastoris are used to cleave cell wall polymers at specific points. The fragments released from the cell walls are purified by high performance liquid chromatography and then characterized by mass spectrometry and high field NMR spectroscopy. Most of the carbon in biomass is in the form of polysaccharides. Dr. Mort and his collaborators are investigating improved enzyme systems for the conversion of biomass to monosaccharides for subsequent fermentation into fuels or chemicals.
Dr. Rolf Prade (Sr. Vice President of Research)
Dr. Rolf Prade is an expert in the field of biochemical genetics and genetic engineering with innumerable publications and patents to his credit. He also works as a consultant to several renowned biotech companies across different countries.
Dr. Prade’s lab has focused research on the development of large-scale bioinformatics and molecular genetics tools of sensory mechanisms in Aspergillus nidulans. He has made contributions to two model processes; the stress response and the question of carbon source regulation, specifically the genetics of recognition of complex carbon sources. Currently he is involved in a metaproteogenomic effort to determine biomass degrading enzymes which function at extreme high temperatures.These enzymes are useful to further engineer crop plants (corn) the biomass source for biofuel production. Moreover, he also develops protein expression/secretion systems that enable large-scale protein production employing a gene silencing strategy.
Dr. Sayali Saykhedkar (Research Associate)
Dr. Saykhedkar completed her doctoral research from Dr, Mort’s lab in 2012 and she has authored 6 papers. Dr. Saykhedkar is the co-founder of this company and co-inventor of the technology. She has strong entrepreneurial aspirations to successfully commercialize the technology
Advisory Board Members
Dr. Sadagopan Krishnan
Dr.Krishnan obtained Phd in Bioanalytical Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Jim Rusling at the Univ of Connecticut, USA (June 2010). Following this, he pursued a post-doctoral research work with Prof. Fraser Armstrong at Oxford University, UK. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Chemistry at the Oklahoma State University. His research group focuses on Clinical Biosensors, Point-of-care methods, Biocatalysis, Biomarker validation, Novel anticancer Drug-screening arrays, Bioelectrochemi