About us.

Scientific advisory board.

Conagen’s scientific advisory board (SAB) comprises leaders in the fields of synthetic biology, biochemistry, plant science, and microbiology, all of whom are top faculty at leading universities. The SAB works with our leadership to help us build upon the best science available to deliver the highest quality, nature-based products.

Learn About Our History

Pamela Silver, Ph.D.

Harvard University and Harvard University Medical School

Dr. Silver is the chair of Conagen’s SAB. She is the Elliot T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. She is also a member of the Harvard University Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Her group combines lessons from nature to the design of new organisms for both discovery and applications. Her work has been recognized by an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association, a Research Scholar of the March of Dimes, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, a Claudia Adams Barr Investigator, an NIH MERIT award, a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute, top ten innovations by the World Economic Forum, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has served on numerous editorial boards, was the editor of Molecular Biology of the Cell, has served on the Council of the American Society for Cell Biology and on the Committee for Women in Cell Biology, presented to members of Congress, and was a co-founder of Karyopharm Therapeutics that makes novel anti-cancer drugs, and other biotech companies.

Frances Arnold, Ph.D.

California Institute of Technology

Dr. Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

She was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her work on directed evolution of enzymes. The other half of the prize was awarded to American biochemist George P. Smith and British biochemist Gregory P. Winter for phage display. Among her previous honors, Arnold received the National Academy of Sciences Sackler Prize in Convergence Research and the Millennium Technology Prize presented by Technology Academy Finland. She was the first woman to receive the Charles Stark Draper Prize from the National Academy of Engineering. She is a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and she received the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Dr. Arnold is one of the few people to be inducted into all three U.S. National Academies—the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Timothy Lu, M.D., Ph.D.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Lu is an Associate Professor leading the Synthetic Biology Group in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Department of Biological Engineering at MIT. He is a core member of MIT’s Synthetic Biology Center, an Associate Member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and co-founder of Sample6 Technologies. He is also affiliated with the MIT CSBi Program, the MIT Microbiology Program, and the Harvard Biophysics Program.

Dr. Lu has pioneered new approaches to combat infectious diseases with synthetic biology, encoding memory in the DNA of living cells, and performing both digital and analog computation in biological systems. His group's research focuses on engineering fundamental technologies to enable the scalable design of biological systems and on applying synthetic biology to solve medical and industrial problems. He is a recipient of the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Professorship, NIH New Innovator Award, Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for Invention, Army Young Investigator Award, Ellison New Scholar in Aging Award, and Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), among others.

Joseph Jez, Ph.D.

Washington University

Dr. Jez is the Chair and a Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

After working as a research scientist at Kosan Biosciences, he started his research group at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and moved to the Department of Biology at Washington University in 2008. Research in his lab seeks to understand how environmental changes re-model biochemical pathways in plants at the molecular, cellular, and organism levels with the aim of engineering these systems to address agricultural and environmental problems. Current work employs structural biology, protein chemistry, and plant biology. He has authored more than 160 papers and received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2005), the Phytochemical Society of North America's Arthur Neish Young Investigator Award (2007), and a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award (2012). He was named an AAAS Fellow in 2018.

Eran Pichersky, Ph.D.

University of Michigan

Dr. Pichersky is the Michael M. Martin Collegiate Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) at the University of Michigan.

His research has concentrated on identifying the myriad compounds found uniquely in plants, many of which are extensively used by people, with emphasis on those that impart scent and flavor. His group further elucidates how plants synthesize these compounds, and how this information can be used to enhance the production by plants of such valuable chemicals. Dr. Pichersky’s awards include a Fulbright fellowship and an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship (2000), and a Guggenheim fellowship in 2015. He was elected a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2012 and by the American Society of Plant Biologists in 2017. Dr. Pichersky has served on the editorial boards of several major scientific journals that cover plant research; he has authored more than 250 reports, reviews, letters, and editorials in scientific publications, and is a recipient of several patents.