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.
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:
Jacqueline Heard, Ph.D., MBA is founder and CEO of Enko Chem, Inc. Her career in agriculture has centered around the support of innovation in 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, Flagship Pioneering, 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 authored 64 peer reviewed publications and patents/patent applications, which includes 41 issued U.S. patents. She received a Ph.D. in Biology from Boston College and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
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.
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.
Gary Schaefer, is Vice President Corporate at Enko Chem, Inc. which he joined in 2021. Previously, he was the director of business development for Valent U.S.A., LLC., and served on Sumitomo Chemical Corporation’s global business development team. Prior to this, he was the director of marketing for row crops and led the non-crop business unit at Valent. Starting his career as a sales representative, Gary developed a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities faced by farmers. This experience laid the foundation for a farmer-centric approach and a genuine passion for helping agricultural businesses thrive.
He received his BS degree and Masters of Agribusiness from the University of Florida.
Peter Stchur, Ph.D., is Vice President of Operations 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.
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.