We believe that creating the future the world wants, requires changing how the world grows.

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ABOUT
ENKO

OUR
MISSION

We're on a mission to help farmers provide for the planet, without harming the earth.

We believe that creating the future the world wants requires changing how the world grows. That’s why Enko® discovers and develops novel products for farmers to protect their crops from pests and disease. Our discovery platform, ENKOMPASS™, uses DNA-encoded libraries, AI, Structure-Based Design, and Machine Learning to find and select the right treatments for the right targets faster and more effectively than traditional R&D methods. By providing farmers with new tools to grow their crops successfully and sustainably, we hope to open the door for increased adoption of other data-driven and emerging technologies in agriculture.

Led by a team of proven scientists, entrepreneurs, and industry veterans, Enko’s innovative science, agile design, and discovery of new modes of action is producing next-generation crop protection solutions that will overcome critical challenges facing the industry.

Here to change the way the world grows

Enko helps farmers and growers of all shapes and sizes to be successful and sustainable with pioneering plant health technology focused on people and planet.

Watch our video to understand the science.

OUR
Team

To reach any Enko team member please email info@enko.ag or call +1-857-301-7619.

Enko discovers and develops novel products for farmers to protect their crops from pests and disease. All that we do is inspired by the belief that we can improve the agricultural industry and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable system that can increase crop yields and improve access to food around the world.  

We believe that in order to create the future the world wants, we need to change the way the world grows. Our goal is not just to create something better, but to play a part in something bigger.   

Please meet our talented team and board members below:

Kate Arildsen
Research Associate
Kate Arildsen
Kumar Ashtekar, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist, Chemistry
Kumar Ashtekar, Ph.D.
Katrin Ayer, Ph.D.
Scientist, Fungicide Discovery
Katrin Ayer, Ph.D.
Brittany Baisch, Ph.D., DABT
Regulatory Toxicology Lead
Brittany Baisch, Ph.D., DABT
Lucas Beaney, MS, CPA
Accounting Manager
Lucas Beaney, MS, CPA
Stephen Boushell, MS
Scientist, Fungicide Discovery
Stephen Boushell, MS
Lisa Butler, MS
Lab and Data Management Coordinator
Lisa Butler, MS
Paolo Castiglioni
Field Biology Lead
Paolo Castiglioni
Heather Coffey, MA
Scientist, Biochemistry
Heather Coffey, MA
Tim Colussi, Ph.D.
Data Scientist
Tim Colussi, Ph.D.
Tori Eastham
Biology Research Assistant
Tori Eastham
Rory Fahy
Software Engineer
Rory Fahy
Raymond Gasper, Ph.D.
Senior Software Engineer
Raymond Gasper, Ph.D.
Sarah Grieco
Office Manager
Sarah Grieco
Johnson Jutson, Ph.D.
Bioanalytical Lead
Johnson Jutson, Ph.D.
Jeremy Kroemer, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist, Entomology
Jeremy Kroemer, Ph.D.
Tyasning Kroemer, Ph.D.
Scientist, Entomology
Tyasning Kroemer, Ph.D.
David Lauffer, MS
Research Fellow, Chemistry
David Lauffer, MS
Michael Luethy, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
Michael Luethy, Ph.D.
Jennifer Lynch
Horticulture Associate
Jennifer Lynch
Shannon MacFadden
Research Assistant
Shannon MacFadden
Brendan Noons, MS
Scientist, Advanced Characterization Biology
Brendan Noons, MS
Balaji Pandian, Ph.D.
Scientist, Herbicide Discovery
Balaji Pandian, Ph.D.
Tim Panosian, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Discovery Sciences
Tim Panosian, Ph.D.
Daniel Pearson, Ph.D.
IP Manager
Daniel Pearson, Ph.D.
Andrew Plant, Ph.D.
Director of Chemistry
Andrew Plant, Ph.D.
Karthik Putta, MA
Senior Scientist, Herbicide Discovery
Karthik Putta, MA
Francis Rajamohan, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist, Protein Biochemistry
Francis Rajamohan, Ph.D.
Lynne Reuber, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist, Fungicide Discovery
Lynne Reuber, Ph.D.
Sonny Smith
Director of Finance
Sonny Smith
Crystal Sparks, Ph.D.
Scientist, Herbicide Discovery
 Crystal Sparks, Ph.D.
Peter Stchur Jr.
Intern
Peter Stchur Jr.
Cristina Veranian
Accounting & Operations Associate
Cristina Veranian
David Vierra, Ph.D.
Scientist, Biochemistry
David Vierra, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Vuono, Ph.D.
Scientist, Protein Biochemistry
Elizabeth Vuono, Ph.D.
Dimitri Wallace
Research Assistant
Dimitri Wallace
Samuel Watson, MS
Software Engineer
Samuel Watson, MS
Frederick Weaver
Desktop Support Engineer
Frederick Weaver
Seth Weissich
Facilities Manager
Seth Weissich
Karin Whiting Burgess
Communications
Karin Whiting Burgess
Talia Zeidner
Greenhouse Technician
Talia Zeidner
Natalie Arden
VP Human Resources, Business Partner
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Natalie Arden joined Enko Chem, Inc. January 2024. She brings over 20 years of experience partnering with leaders on strategic people topics in a variety of industries, including Life Sciences, Tech, Healthcare and Academia. She most recently was at Eppendorf Group, leading the Americas HR team and partnering with local and global business executives as the region grew from 300 to nearly 1000 employees. Her areas of expertise are strategic HR leadership, organizational design and optimization, building high-performing teams, and developing scalable programs and processes.

Natalie holds a BS in Business Management as well as certifications in Strategic Business Partnering, Workforce Planning, Talent Acquisition, and Six Sigma Green Belt.

Natalie Arden
Jacqueline Heard, Ph.D., MBA, Co-Founder and CEO
Enko Founder and CEO
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Jacqueline Heard, Ph.D., MBA founded Enko Chem, Inc. with the support of Anterra Capital when she was a venture partner in 2017. Her career in agriculture has centered around bringing innovation to the agriculture sector by identifying and commercializing new technology, both as an entrepreneur, a leader of global R&D and as a venture investor at Monsanto and Anterra Capital.

Jacqueline has prioritized listening to farmers and translating their experiences into practical innovations throughout her career. As Monsanto’s global R&D lead, she gathered direct input from farmers to develop products for drought-tolerant crops. As a venture capitalist investing in agtech startups, she observed a common disconnect between the solutions founders pitched and farmers’ actual needs. Jacqueline currently leads Enko in its work to design safe and sustainable solutions to agricultural problems, from pest resistance to new diseases, by applying the latest drug discovery and development approaches from Pharma to agriculture.  

She has over 100 peer reviewed publications and issued patents. She received a Ph.D. in Biology from Boston College and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

 

Jacqueline Heard, Ph.D., MBA, Co-Founder and CEO
Stephanie Liva, Ph.D., JD
General Counsel
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Stephanie M. Liva, Ph.D., JD,  joined Enko Chem, Inc. as general counsel in August 2022. She has been advising biotechnology companies of all sizes for over 15 years including Monsanto (now Bayer) from 2005-2013. Since then, she has held roles at start-ups and small biotechnology companies in agriculture and human therapeutics.

Stephanie received her BS and Ph.D. from UCLA and her JD from Boston University.

Stephanie Liva, Ph.D., JD
Tom Meade, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer
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Tom Meade, Ph.D. joined Enko Chem, Inc. as Chief Science Officer soon after its founding in 2017. He has over 30 years of experience working in the agriculture industry with a focus on the discovery of novel crop protection chemistries and traits.  Tom began his career at Mycogen discovering insect resistance traits and broadened his scientific and leadership responsibilities to include insecticide discovery when Mycogen was acquired by Dow.

Through leadership positions in both crop protection chemistry and traits Tom has broad experience in the discovery and development process.  Prior to Enko he was the global leader for Traits Discovery at Dow AgroSciences. 

Tom is an author on 14 peer reviewed papers and 1 book chapter.  He is an inventor on 27 granted, U.S. patents.  He received a B.S. in Entomology from U.C. Davis and an MS and Ph.D. in Entomology from U.C. Riverside.

Tom Meade, Ph.D.
Peter Stchur, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Portfolio
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Peter Stchur, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President of Portfolio at Enko Chem, Inc. Peter joined Enko in 2019. Previously he was director of chemistry for a leading contract research organization for over two years.  From 2003-2016, Peter served in several R&D leadership roles with the DuPont Company's Crop Protection and Specialty Chemicals businesses. 

He received his BS degree from Wilkes University and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.

Peter Stchur, Ph.D.
David M. Wurzer, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
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David M. Wurzer, CPA has served as CFO of Enko Chem, Inc. since July 2022. From 2009-2022, David was employed by Connecticut Innovations, the State of Connecticut’s strategic venture capital arm, where he served in various positions including chief investment officer and senior managing director. From 1997-2008, he was executive vice president and CFO at CuraGen Corporation in New Haven, Connecticut.

He received his BBA from the University of Notre Dame, and started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

David M. Wurzer, CPA
Phil Austin
Managing Partner, Anterra Capital and Enko Board Director
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Phil Austin is a Founder and Managing Partner at Anterra Capital where he currently leads the U.S. office and Life Sciences investment team.

Originally trained as a pharmaceutical chemist and chemical engineer his career has focused around applying life science technology to problems outside of the human therapeutics domain. Phil was initially in industrial biotech with McKinsey & Company and Atlas Venture, then more recently at Anterra Capital where his investment portfolio focuses on the application of life sciences technologies across agriculture, animal health, and nutritional wellness. Phil is a major believer in the potential for leveraging the rich Pharma ecosystem to build leading edge biotech companies for ‘orphan’ industrial sectors.

Phil and Anterra Capital are Enko Co-founders. Their support set Enko in motion.

Phil Austin
Marijn Dekkers, Ph.D.
Chairman, Novalis LifeSciences LLC, and Chairman of the Board, Enko
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Marijn Dekkers is Chairman of Novalis Capitol Partners which he founded in 2017. He is a board member of several Novalis LifeSciences portfolio companies. Marijn is the former CEO of Bayer AG in Leverkusen, Germany (2010-2016), and the former CEO of ThermoFisher Scientific (2002-2009) in Waltham, MA, USA. He was also Chairman of Unilever (2016-2020) in London, UK.

Dekkers started his career as a scientist at General Electric Corporate Research in Niskayuna, NY, USA. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and a BS in Chemistry, both in the Netherlands.

Marijn Dekkers, Ph.D.
Shahram Ebadollahi, Ph.D. MBA
Independent Director
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Shahram Ebadollahi is a distinguished technologist and innovator, specializing in the applications of data science and AI in healthcare. Currently an operating partner at a private equity firm, he previously led data and AI initiatives as the chief data science and AI officer at Novartis. Before Novartis, he pioneered the healthcare research domain at IBM and later became the technical founder of IBM Watson Health. During his tenure at IBM, he also led industry-first initiatives applying blockchain technology to healthcare data resulting in the formation of new companies in this area. Shahram holds both a Ph.D. and an MBA from Columbia University.

Shahram Ebadollahi, Ph.D. MBA
Jacqueline Heard, Ph.D., MBA, Co-Founder and CEO
Enko Founder and CEO
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Jacqueline Heard, Ph.D., MBA founded Enko Chem, Inc. with the support of Anterra Capital when she was a venture partner in 2017. Her career in agriculture has centered around bringing innovation to the agriculture sector by identifying and commercializing new technology, both as an entrepreneur, a leader of global R&D and as a venture investor at Monsanto and Anterra Capital.

Jacqueline has prioritized listening to farmers and translating their experiences into practical innovations throughout her career. As Monsanto’s global R&D lead, she gathered direct input from farmers to develop products for drought-tolerant crops. As a venture capitalist investing in agtech startups, she observed a common disconnect between the solutions founders pitched and farmers’ actual needs. Jacqueline currently leads Enko in its work to design safe and sustainable solutions to agricultural problems, from pest resistance to new diseases, by applying the latest drug discovery and development approaches from Pharma to agriculture.  

She has over 100 peer reviewed publications and issued patents.  She received a Ph.D. in Biology from Boston College and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Jacqueline Heard, Ph.D., MBA, Co-Founder and CEO
Spencer Maughan, Ph.D., MBA
Managing Partner, Finistere Ventures, and Enko Board Director
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Spencer Maughan is Managing Partner and Founder of the Silicon Valley based Finistere Ventures, a fund that has been focused on re-engineering the food value chain. Spencer was previously part of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers’s $1B GreenGrowth Fund. He was also an investor at Venrock, an early-stage venture capital firm.

Spencer Maughan, Ph.D., MBA
Pat Confalone, Ph.D.
retired VP Global R&D, DuPont Health Nutrition and Crop Protection
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A graduate of M.I.T., Pat obtained a Ph.D. at Harvard with Nobel laureate Prof. R.B. Woodward. After a post-doctoral stint, also with Prof. R.B. Woodward, directed toward the total synthesis of Vitamin B12,.  Moving to DuPont, his bioorganic chemistry group developed the fluorescent dye-labeled reagents that were used in thehuman genome project.  With DuPont’s Pharmaceutical Division, his medicinal chemistry department discovered Cozaar™, a major anti-hypertensiveand developed Sustiva™ a therapeutic for AIDS.

As Vice President, Global R&D, DuPont Crop Protection, he led 300 scientists to build a world class pipeline of novel products, including Rynaxypyr™ and Cyazypyr™ with world-wide sales over a billion dollars a year, and the new mode of action fungicide Zorvec™. In AnimalHealth, his team discovered the chewable flea and tick product NexGard™ with 2019 sales of $ 900M.

He has presented >110 plenary lectures worldwide, published >140 papers, obtained >50 U.S. Patents, and received numerous awards, including the Harvard Graduate Society Prize, the Alpha Chi SigmaAward, the Robert A. Welch Lectureship, and the Philadelphia Organic ChemistryAward.  He was nominated to the Harvard Society of Fellows, is an electedFellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an ACSFellow, and served as Chairman of the Board of the American Chemical Society. He is the recipient of the 2021 ACS National Award for Leadership in ChemicalResearch Management and the 2021 Gassman Award for Distinguished Service inChemistry.  Currently, Pat is an independent consultant to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and agrichemical industries.

Pat Confalone, Ph.D.
Timothy Pastoor, Ph.D., DABT
retired Principal Scientist, Syngenta, and board certified Toxicologist
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Tim Pastoor obtained his Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Michigan, is certified by the American Board of Toxicology (DABT) and is a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (ATS). Tim retired in 2015 from Syngenta as Principal Scientist and founded the company Pastoor Science Communications, LLC that is centered around his passion for sound science communicated well, and continues to provide regulatory and toxicological guidance in product development. He is also past president of the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) and is a board member of several small biotechnology start-up companies as well as the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).

Tim has over 40 years of international experience in fundamental toxicity testing, mode of action research, and human health risk assessment. For most of his career, including positions with DuPont, ICI, Zeneca, Novartis, and Syngenta, he led toxicology and risk assessment experts in the conduct of safety, health, and environmental studies to assess risk to humans and the environment. In those roles, he was involved in toxicological research projects and product development and was frequently asked to interact with media, community groups, legislators, and regulatory agencies. He is a frequent lecturer on toxicology and risk assessment subjects.

Timothy Pastoor, Ph.D., DABT
Stephen Powles, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, University of Western Australia
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Stephen Powles is a globally recognized crop science, herbicide and herbicide resistance expert.  His career in Australia, USA and Europe has been focused on technologies impacting crop science and production.  Powles is ProfessorEmeritus at the University of Western Australia and founder of two research organizations.   He has published over 300 peer-reviewed research publications and edited two books on herbicide resistance in crops and weeds. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a Fellow of theAustralian Academy of Technology and Engineering.  Powles has received many distinguished national and international awards for his contributions to research. to crop production and to weed control.   As well as his science and technology interests in agriculture he remains "grounded" through ownership of an 840-acre farm devoted to crop production.

Stephen Powles, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Terence Walsh, Ph.D.
retired Research Fellow, Corteva AgriScience
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Terence Walsh, Ph.D. has over 35 years of experience in agricultural biotechnology and agrochemical discovery research, first at The Dow Chemical Company, transitioning into Dow AgroSciences and Corteva Agrisciences. His core interest is translating detailed molecular information about agriculturally important target sites into new crop chemistries and traits. Among his career achievements, Terry led teams that biochemically characterized the enzymes that are the basis of Corteva’s successful Enlist® herbicide resistance trait, and discovered the target site receptor for a major class of auxinic herbicides that includes several new Corteva products. Terry retired from DowDuPont as aResearch Fellow in 2018 and is now an independent consultant. He received a B.Sc. from King’s College, London, UK, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from theUniversity of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has been an associate editor of Weed Science and has over 30 scientific publications and 24 issued U.S. patents.

Terence Walsh, Ph.D.
W. Patrick Walters, Ph.D.
Chief Data Officer, Relay Therapeutics
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Pat Walters is the Chief Data Officer at Relay Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA.   Before joining Relay, he spent more than 20 years at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he was Global Head of Modeling & Informatics.  Pat is the 2023 recipient of the Herman Skolnik Award for Chemical Information Science from the American Chemical Society.  He is a member of the editorial advisory boards for the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling and Artificial Intelligence in the LifeSciences. He previously held a similar role with the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.  Pat is co-author of the book “Deep Learning for the Life Sciences,” published in 2019 by O’Reilly and Associates. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Arizona, where he studied the application of artificial intelligence in conformational analysis. 

W. Patrick Walters, Ph.D.

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