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Our Team: TeamMember
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Dr. Mandy Ward CEO

Dr. Ward is the primary inventor of the DEFENZYM TM technology. She trained in microbiology at Oxford, UC Berkeley, and Stanford before taking faculty positions at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Southern California. Dr. Ward has performed research on Bordetella pertussis, Bacillus anthracis, Neisseria meningitidis, and Vibrio cholerae, the microbes that cause whooping cough, anthrax, Neisserial meningitis, and cholera, respectively. Dr. Ward retired from academia after a disabling accident in 2008. In retirement Mandy worked extensively with a local Natural History museum, giving talks, preparing exhibits and curating the skull and bones collection.

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Dr. Adam Bell COO

Adam Bell holds a D.Phil. in Biochemistry from Oxford University and a J.D. from the University of California. He is a co-inventor of the DEFENZYM TM technology. He worked the Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory (VRDL) in California; was patent attorney and interim board secretary for AcelRx, Inc, patent counsel for Durect, Inc., patent attorney for Incyte Genomics. He is patent counsel for Scottish Bioenergy Ltd., of counsel at a San Francisco IP law firm, a board member of IPLEGALED, Inc., and a director of When not working you will find Adam skiing, climbing or attempting to fly light aircraft and helicopters.


Dr Nik Somia CSO

Dr. Somia is Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development and in the Institute for Molecular Virology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Somia trained at the University of Edinburgh and the Salk Institute. His research involves the development of retroviral vectors, based on HIV, for use in gene therapy. And looking at the biology of viral infection. Nik has published papers in gene therapy, virology and cell biology . When not working, Nik spends time with his family, reading and indulging his hobby of conjuring.


Michio Soga Financial Advisor

Michio Soga has many solid years of CFO experience at the board of international tech companies, including the positions of CFO at Transave Inc., CFO of Pharmacopeia, Inc., Interim CFO of Mataphore, Inc., CFO for Confetti Network Inc., and executive Director at Bank Indosuez.  Michio is a skier and alpine climber.

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Professor Andrew Barron CTO

Andrew Barron is a British chemist, academic, and entrepreneur.  He is the Sêr Cymru Chair of Low Carbon Energy and Environment at Swansea University, and the Founder and Director of the Energy Safety Research Institute at Swansea University.  He previously held posts at University of Texas at Austin and was a faculty member of Harvard University and Rice University. He founded  Gallia , Inc. in 1992, Oxane Materials in 2002 , Natcore Technology in 2004  and Apex Water Innovation in 2020. He is the recipient of too many awards to mention. He is an active motor racer and  was team principle for team in the GTS class  for the American Lemans Series.

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Bruce Fleming Strategic Business Advisor

Bruce Fleming has nearly 40 years of experience in the consumer products and services industries. He began his career in marketing at Procter and Gamble, was Global Head, SVP of OTC Medicines at Novartis, and Worldwide VP of Johnson & Johnson. He was also President, CEO and a Director of BriteSmile, a pioneer in teeth whitening. Prior to retirement, Bruce was EVP, CMO and Elected Officer of Church & Dwight. He has won numerous awards, including being the Consumer Goods Technology 2015 CMO of the Year. Bruce is a graduate of Harvard University and the Yale School of Management. He is an active educational fund-raiser and an insufferable Red Sox fan. 

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Dr. Karen Ottermann Science and Technical Advisor

Dr. Ottemann is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology at University of California Santa Cruz. She obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard University studying Vibrio cholerae disease pathogenesis, and did postdoctoral training at University of California Berkeley studying bacterial environmental sensing and response. She currently researches disease processes in the ulcer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori. She has authored over 60 peer-reviewed research and review articles. She enjoys gardening, cooking and hiking.

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