Krishna Sridharan joins GreenLight Biosciences as head of data science

Carole Cobb
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MEDFORD, MMA— GreenLight Biosciences, Inc., a bio-performance company developing RNA-based solutions for agriculture and pharmaceutical applications, announced several new hires to augment its plant science R&D team: David Culley, head of fungicide innovation; Brian Manley, head of field development; Laurent Mézin, head of regulatory; Ken Narva, head of entomology; Cris Oppert, crop protection scientist; and Krishna Sridharan, head of data science.

Sridharan will lead all aspects of data science and management, including bioinformatics, statistics and predictive analytics.

Previously, he was with Grassroots Biotechnology (now a part of Bayer Crop Science), where he applied bioinformatics and data science to the fields of gene expression and synthetic biology.

Sridharan earned a doctorate in genetics from Iowa State University and a B.A. in bioinformatics from SASTRA University (India).

“GreenLight Biosciences is part of a new wave of disruptors in agriculture who are responding to consumer demands for safer and more sustainable options for growing food. Our investment in experienced R&D talent puts us in a strong position to build a robust pipeline of targeted, natural, and safe RNA products farmers are waiting for,” said Carole Cobb, chief operating officer at GreenLight.

Other hires are:

David Culley, who joins as head of fungicide innovation, brings over 25 years of experience researching fungal genetics, genomics, biochemistry and fermentation at LifeMine Therapeutics, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Washington State University. He holds a doctorate in plant physiology and molecular biology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and a B.A. in biology from University of California, Santa Cruz. He will lead the development of fungal control products.

Brian Manley – the new head of field development – leads, designs and implements field research programs to optimize the performance of new commercial products. He spent close to two decades at Syngenta in a progression of R&D positions. Manley holds a doctorate in weed science from Virginia Tech University and a B.A.Sc. in agronomic and crop science from Delaware Valley College.

Laurent Mézin assumes the role of head of regulatory, leading the company’s efforts to register this new class of biocontrol products in different geographies. Prior to joining GreenLight, he was the regulatory and government affairs leader for SePRO Corporation, where he spearheaded all registration and regulatory activities. Mézin holds a doctorate in marine science from The College of William and Mary and a B.S. in biochemistry from Oregon State University.

Ken Narva, research fellow, joins GreenLight as head of entomology, responsible for developing the company’s pipeline of bioinsecticide products. A leader in the field, he has 30 years of experience discovering and developing insect control products, most recently in leadership positions at Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Agriscience). Narva earned a doctorate in microbiology from Louisiana State University and a B.S. in biology from Central Michigan University.

Cris Oppert will serve as a scientist focusing on biocontrol development. Most recently, Oppert was at Bayer Crop Science, where he was involved with mode of action studies of novel traits for pest control. He earned a doctorate in oceanography from Florida State University and a dual B.S. degree in biology and biochemistry from Kansas State University.

“With a stellar R&D team, coupled with our unique platform capable of producing RNA-based products at industrial scale, we are well positioned to develop sustainable, targeted biocontrol solutions, bringing nature and technology together,” said Cobb.

GreenLight is a bio-performance company with a unique, cell-free production platform that delivers high-performing RNA solutions to human, plant and animal challenges. GreenLight develops RNA products for plant and life science applications, and collaborates with industry leaders to advance vaccine development, pandemic preparation, crop management, and plant protection.


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