Charles L. Cooney, Ph.D., is the Robert T. Haslam (1911) Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the Faculty Director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Master’s and Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT. He has received multiple awards and more recently elected (2009) to the first class of American Chemical Society Fellows. In July 2012 he was awarded Honoris Causa by Ramon Llull University in Barcelona. He serves as a consultant to a number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies, is on multiple editorial boards of professional journals, sits on the Boards of Directors of Polypore International, Inc., LS9, Inc., Mitra (India), GreenLight Bioscience, Pronutria, Inc. and Biocon, Ltd (India) and was previously on the Boards of Genzyme, Cuno, Inc., Pall Corp. and Astra AB. He chaired the FDA Advisory Committee for Pharmaceutical Science from 2004-2006. Professor Cooney’s research interests include manufacturing in the pharmaceutical, biotech and bioprocess industries, as well as bioprocess design, operation and control, and processing of pharmaceutical powders and technological innovation strategy. As founding faculty director of the Deshpande Center he is interested in the process of stimulating technological innovation and translating innovation into new company creation.
Marco M. Farsheed is an accomplished entrepreneur. He is a cofounder of enEvolv and was the CEO of the company until December 2017. Marco has held executive positions in a number of private and public companies including Streambase Systems, VP of Strategic Business Development (acquired by TIBCO Software); Permessa, CEO (acquired by Group Business Software); C-bridge Internet Solutions, EVP of Sales and Marketing (IPO); Platinum Technologies, VP of Business Development and Global Accounts (acquired by CA). Marco has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a mentor at the MIT Venture Mentoring Service and a member of the New England Center for Children’s Board of Advisors.
Farren J. Isaacs, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. He received a B.S.E degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and obtained his Ph.D. from the Biomedical Engineering Department and Bioinformatics Program at Boston University. In his Ph.D. he pioneered the design and development of synthetic RNA components capable of probing and programming cellular function. He then was a research fellow in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School working on genome engineering technologies with George Church. At Harvard, he developed enabling technologies for genome engineering, including MAGE (Multiplex Automated Genome Engineering) and CAGE (Conjugative Assembly Genome Engineering). His research is focused on developing foundational genomic and biomolecular engineering technologies with the goal of developing new genetic codes, and engineered cells that serve as factories for chemical, drug and biofuel production. He has recently been named a “rising young star of science” by Genome Technology Magazine and a Beckman Young Investigator by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.
Jay H. Konieczka, Ph.D., is cofounder and Chief Operating Officer. He overseas enEvolv’s R&D operations and external collaborations. Prior to enEvolv, Dr. Konieczka was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and The Broad Institute where he combined experimental and computational approaches in genome analysis. He has extensive experience in comparative functional genomics and molecular genetics. Dr. Konieczka received bachelors degrees in Computer Science and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona.
Ronald L. Meeusen, Ph.D., is a Managing Director of Cultivian Sandbox and co-founder and Managing Partner of Cultivian Ventures. Ron has over 30 years of experience in bringing new technologies and products to market. He has led research and development for major corporations in agricultural chemicals, field crop and vegetable genetics and breeding, animal health, novel foods and industrial materials. His successful projects include the world’s first field trial of a genetically engineered crop trait in 1986, development and launch of one of the first insect and herbicide resistant corn hybrids in 1996, introduction of a trans-fat free canola oil, and development of dozens of new varieties of field and vegetable crops on three continents. Ron has been a frequent speaker at conferences, a consultant to Federal policy on biotechnology regulatory issues, and active in industry trade groups. Prior to forming Cultivian Ron led the expansion of the biotechnology research and development program of Dow AgroSciences, and founded a successful biopharmaceutical company, Immuneworks, Inc. Ron represents Cultivian on the board of directors of AbCelex Technologies, Agrivida, enEvolv, Proterro, Rivertop Renewables, Vestaron and Virgin Plants. He was also a member of the board of directors of Allylix, Aratana Therapeutics and Divergence, Inc. Ron holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in plant cell biology, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in plant physiology.