Dr. Fatma Kaplan is the CEO/CSO of Pheronym and an accomplished scientist with experience in both biology and chemistry. She has a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology and postdoctoral training in Natural Product Chemistry with a focus on isolating biologically active compounds. Dr. Kaplan discovered the first sex pheromone of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and published in Nature. Then she discovered that pheromones regulate other behaviors in both parasitic and beneficial nematodes. She has very high impact publications and her dissertation was cited in textbooks within 5 years of publication. Dr. Kaplan worked as a scientist at NASA, the National Magnetic Field Laboratory and the US Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Kaplan co-founded Pheronym to bring nematode pheromone technology to the market. Dr. Kaplan believes that nematode pheromone technology will provide effective, non-toxic pest control for farmers and gardeners.
Mr. Karl Cameron Schiller is the co-founder and COO of Pheronym. He is an experienced entrepreneur with BA in economics and MS in pharmacy healthcare management. Prior to Pheronym, he co-founded Kaplan Schiller research LLC. and volunteered as president of a not for profit organization where he managed 5 people team. In addition, he was a freelance consultant in pharmaceutical product development, cost-effectiveness analysis, modeling, and statistical analysis. His clients include the University of Florida, the University of Alabama, Florida Medicaid, and Pfizer.
Ms. Abigail Gentil-Perret is the Manager of Pheronym Labs. Before Pheronym, she worked as a scientist for startup Pasteuria Bioscience on a groundbreaking Agricultural technology. Pasteuria Bioscience was acquired by Syngeta for $113 million. Following this acquisition Abigail spent two years as a researcher for Sygnenta. Additionally, she has over 10 years horticulture and greenhouse management experience. Abigail also founded a local community food garden for people experiencing homelessness that includes a program for agricultural vocational training and horticultural therapy. She deeply believes in the power of an entrepreneurial mindset in business, science, and community to solve some of our greatest challenges and knows that Pheronym is the right place to do just that.
Dr. Jiayi Sun is the Synthetic Biologist at Pheronym. Jiayi has a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering and post-doctoral training in Biochemistry and Bioinformatics and eight years of experience in natural product production. During her Ph.D., she increased the terpenoid indole alkaloid production in a medicinal plant, Catharanthus roseus, by combining metabolic engineering strategies. She also explored the regulatory network of TIA production using RNA-seq. Her post-doctoral training mainly focused on vitamin B1 synthesis and gave her experience in culturing different microbial organisms including E. coli, B. subtilis, S. cerevisiae, and Leuconostoc mesenteroides. Jiayi is using synthetic biology to scale up pheromone production at Pheronym for environmental-friendly and stable agricultural pest control.
We have been very lucky to have amazing interns. They were curious, self-motivated and independent scientists who we would love to have back.
Ms. Abigail Gentil-Perret is now Pheronym Lab Manager.
Dr. Edith Sampson is now ICBR Monoclonal Antibody Scientific Director at the University of Florida.
Ms. Julie Giurintano is at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University on her way to be a medical doctor.
Ms. Amaleah Mirti would like to pursue Science Policy.
On the Steps Between Scientist and Founder: An Interview with Fatma Kaplan by Emilia Diaz at Synbiobeta
When working with biotechnology, many times you find yourself in the odd scenario where you know where you want to get to but the resources you need to get there don’t exist yet. Read more
Our business mentors and advisors
FAST Program at California Life Science Institute: Dr. Pam Marrone, Dr. Jenny Rooke, Dr. Zach Wochok and Cathrine Campbell
Tech Futures Group: Terri Mead
LARTA Institute: Julie Morris for commercialization
Sales and marketing advisor: Kim Nicholson