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.

Ramon Gonzalez, PH.D.

University of South Florida

Dr. Ramon Gonzalez is a Professor and Florida World Class Scholar in the Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF) where he leads the laboratory for Metabolic Engineering and Biomanufacturing.

He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology. Before joining USF, Dr. Gonzalez was a professor in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering at Rice University where he was also the founding director of Rice’s Advanced Biomanufacturing Initiative. From 2012 to 2015 he served as the program director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Dr. Gonzalez’s work has been published in prestigious scientific journals, including Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Catalysis, PNAS, and Science. He is the lead inventor of 25 patents and patent applications, co-founded several biotechnology start-ups, and has given more than 100 invited talks.

He is a member of multiple editorial boards including Science, Biotechnology Journal, Metabolic Engineering Communications, Applied & Environmental Microbiology, and Applied Biochemistry & Biotechnology.

Dr. Gonzalez has received numerous recognition, including elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, AIChE Division 15c Plenary Lecture, ASM Distinguished Lecturer, SDA/NBB Glycerine Innovation Research Award, and NSF CAREER Award.

He obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Chile, an M.S. in Biochemical Engineering from the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso (Chile), and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Central University of Las Villas (Cuba).

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.