Helge Zieler, PhD
Founder & President
Helge founded Primordial Genetics in 2011 with the goal of building the premier company for genetic improvement of microbes.
Helge is a biotechnology professional and entrepreneur with 14 years of industry experience in technology development, R&D project leadership and IP development/management in early-stage biotechnology companies. He has a passion for early-stage genetic technologies, and has helped launch the operations of multiple biotech startups including Akkadix, Chromatin, Synthetic Genomics, Agradis, Primordial Genetics and Industry3200.
His background combines strong technical skills in molecular biology, genomics, plant and algal biotechnology and synthetic biology with entrepreneurism and R&D project leadership.
Helge did his doctorate work in yeast molecular genetics in nobel laureate Paul Berg’s laboratory at Stanford University’s famed Biochemistry Department and received his PhD in 1994.
Following an interest in malaria research he then did his post-doctoral work in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Starting in 2000, Helge worked on a variety of projects in crop plant biotechnology and genomics. He led a group at Chromatin Inc that successfully developed artificial chromosomes as gene delivery vehicles in multiple crop species. As Senior Director for Plant Genomics at Synthetic Genomics Inc, he spearheaded efforts to sequence the oil palm and jatropha genomes and set up a molecular breeding project for castor improvement, while also participating in metagenomic studies of microbial populations in subsurface hydrocarbons.