Team

Dr. Fatma Kaplan is the co-founder, CEO/CSO of Pheronym and Activate Berkeley Fellow & Berkeley Lab Affiliate Cyclotron Road Cohort 2021.  She is an entrepreneur and 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 in 2008. Then she discovered that pheromones regulate other behaviors in both parasitic and beneficial nematodes. Dr. Kaplan conducted the first agricultural biocontrol experiment in Space at the International Space Station in 2020. 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. Keep reading

Mr. Karl Cameron Schiller is the co-founder, COO of Pheronym and Activate Berkeley Fellow & Berkeley Lab Affiliate Cyclotron Road Cohort 2021. He is an experienced entrepreneur with BA in economics and M.Sc in pharmaceutical economics. 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 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. Keep reading

Mr. Timothy Gallagher is a Research Assistant at Pheronym. Mr. Gallagher attended the University of California, Davis, where he studied global disease biology with an emphasis in entomology. He’s worked in plant pathology labs where he deepened his love and interest in agricultural research, especially as it pertains to disease. As an undergraduate student, he studied biological control agents and their efficacy against grapevine trunk diseases in California. Tim is working with the Pheronym team to accomplish more groundbreaking research and to continue their mission of aiding in the conquering of the world food crisis in an eco-friendly manner.

Laura Gardner is an intern with Pheronym.  She is an undergraduate at University of California, Davis studying biochemistry and molecular biology with an intended graduation date of Spring 2022.  Laura has a passion for science which is reflective in her work and proactive attitude. She is happy to be apart of the Pheronym team to gain experience about the industry and grow her lab skills.

Business Advisors

We are very excited Dr. Pam Marrone saw the potential of our technology and agreed to be our business advisor. Pam has a deep knowledge of how biologicals work in the field. She knows how to successfully develop biopesticide products and enter the market. At the same time, she has experience building multiple companies from scratch to growth with successful exist; AgraQuest was acquired by Bayer Crop Sciences for nearly $500 million and Marrone Bio Innovations was listed on NASDAQ in 2013, the only pure play listed biopesticide company. Furthermore, very few CEOs have the experience to successfully navigate their companies through economic downturns and even fewer have run a startup. Pam has the right skills to help Pheronym grow to a substantial company. To top it off, Pam envisions a flourishing agricultural technology ecosystem in the Sacramento-Davis area. She is also a role model for women in leadership, is a longtime Treasurer of the Association for Women in Science, and a supportive mentor and sponsor. We are delighted that Dr. Pam Marrone is Pheronym’s business mentor. Keep reading

Mr. Neil Cohen is our marketing advisor and has more than 40 years of experience creating, building, and managing brands from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, including SEGA and Hilton. He consults with companies on marketing, business, and innovation strategies, teaches marketing at San Francisco State University College of Business, and serves as an advisor to four startups. Neil is an active mentor for San Francisco’s IndieBio biotech accelerator, Startup Mexico, Puerto Rico’s Parallel18, Santiago’s Startup Chile, and SVG: Thrive AgTech accelerator. Furthermore, he has founded a startup and understands how things work from the founder CEO side. Keep reading

Julie Morris, MBA, is our commercialization advisor.  Julie has Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, Boston, MA. She is a results-oriented leader with more than 25 years of senior management experience in technology-based organizations from startups to Fortune 100 companies. She has expertise in operations, financing (VC, bank, leasing), financial management, accounting, forecasting, budgeting, valuation, due diligence, deal structure, and integration planning for a variety of strategic relationships. She brings her experience with multiple forms of early-stage venture financing strategies including grant funding, convertible notes, seed, and later-stage financings, as well as negotiations with domestic and international economic development organizations. Keep Reading