BioConsortia appoints Damian Curtis to lead new gene editing and synthetic biology platform 

Tue 11/08/2020 by Richard Wilkinson
BioConsortia appoints Damian Curtis to lead new gene editing and synthetic biology platform 

BioConsortia, Inc., innovator of microbial solutions in crop protection, soil fertility, and yield improvement, welcomes Dr. Damian Curtis to the company as Director of Synthetic Biology and Genomics. He will lead new technology development in strain improvement and engineering for BioConsortia’s next generation of biopesticides, biostimulants and nitrogen fixation products.

Damian has 15 years of industrial experience with Bayer, AgraQuest and Exelixis. He is a recognized technology leader in genetic engineering and most recently he managed the microbial genetics functions in Biologics R&D at Bayer CropScience, where he also supported global projects including the Poncho/VOTiVO 2.0 product.

Damian holds a PhD in molecular biology & biochemistry from Oregon Health and Sciences University and a BS in molecular biology & chemistry from San Jose State University.

“Damian is an exceptional leader in technology innovation and is well recognized for his talent in microbial genetics and engineering in the Ag biological space,” said Hong Zhu, SVP Research & Development for BioConsortia.  “I am very pleased to have him join our R&D leadership team, especially as we are entering a new, exciting phase of growth and technology expansion to solve tough agricultural problems such as nitrogen overuse and to bring more high-performance biologicals to our partners and growers.”

With a pipeline of highly effective conventional microbial fungicides, nematicides and biostimulants moving into the registration phase, BioConsortia is turning its focus to advance the next generation of products from their synthetic biology programme.

As leader of the in-house Gene Editing and Synthetic Biology Platform, Damian will improve the genetics of BioConsortia’s already robust, spore-forming microbial leads in order to enhance performance of the naturally occurring nitrogen fixation bacteria. In addition to the development of new nitrogen fixation solutions, the team will also develop next generation biostimulants, fungicides, insecticides, and nematicides.

Damian Curtis said “I was first attracted to BioConsortia by their unique microbial discovery platform, and as I dug deeper into their library, leads, and products, as well as their current work on gene editing, I became more excited by the potential. I look forward to helping deliver products that will substantially change the industry.”

“We’ve built a pipeline of highly effective natural products, and moved a number of effective biopesticide and biostimulant solutions into the registration phase” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, CEO. “We are now implementing a program for next generation products. With Damian’s leadership we will magnify the natural capabilities of our nitrogen fixing microbes and deliver solutions that can replace the growers’ reliance on synthetic products, thereby opening up the $200 billion fertiliser market for transformation.”

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