Page Daniels, Ph.D. is a Scientist at Primordial Genetics. She earned her bachelor’s degree, with highest distinction in Biochemistry, from DePauw University, a private liberal arts college in Greencastle, Indiana. Her undergraduate research focused on the purification and derivatization of anti-cancer compounds and further testing of the derivatives for improved anti-cancer activity. Following graduation, she moved to Illinois to pursue a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Her work in Wilfred van der Donk’s laboratory predominantly focused on the elucidation of a novel class of enzymes called PEARLs (Peptide Aminoacyl tRNA Ligases) and the natural products they produce. Page then moved to San Diego to join Primordial Genetics where she brings expertise in biochemistry, molecular biology, enzymology, bioinformatics, and structural biology.
Patrik Engström is a versatile scientist who thrives by solving critical scientific problems. After receiving a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Umeå University, Sweden, he moved to the University of California, Berkeley, for post-doctoral training. During his Ph.D. and postdoc, Patrik revealed mechanisms that bacterial pathogens use to cause disease. For example, he discovered that lysine methylation prevents a pathogen from being degraded by innate immunity. Patrik brings to the Primordial Genetics team expertise in molecular biology, experimental evolution, and biochemistry.
Matt Goering is a biotechnology professional with 25 years of experience as a bench and field scientist as well as assuming managerial positions when necessary. After a short stint as a Park Ranger/Botanist at Pinnacles National Monument Matt began a wide ranging career in discovery research.
As a director at Sequoia Sciences, he led a team that isolated thousands of compounds from terrestrial plants and discovered extremely active biofilm inhibiting compounds. Prior to that, Matt held positions at Mycogen and Ligand Pharmaceuticals.
He has a passion for both botany and laboratory automation. Matt has grown fungi, algae, crop plants and Jatropha in greenhouses and growth chambers at Tissue Grown, Mycogen and Synthetic Genomics. At Dart Neurosciences he worked with cutting edge compound management robotics as part of the synthetic chemistry group; and as part of the Neurophysiology group with the Sophion Qpatch Patch clamping hardware. Most recently Matt was developing automated library prep methods for Active Motif.
Matt received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Humboldt State University in Arcata California.
Malithi Jayasinghe, Ph.D. is a Scientist at Primordial Genetics. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her undergraduate research focused on molecular identification of unknown endophytic fungi with promising antibacterial activity. Then she moved to the U.S. to pursue her Ph.D. in Chemistry (Biochemistry division) at The Ohio State University. Her work in Jackman Lab at The Ohio State University primarily focused on a unique RNA polymerase family called tRNAHis guanylyltransferase (Thg1) family that incorporates nucleotides in the 3’- 5’ (reverse) direction as opposed to all other known DNA and RNA polymerases. She worked on unraveling catalytic mechanism and exploring potential biotechnology applications of this unique RNA polymerase family. Her work established that these polymerases can be used to target RNA substrates for post- transcriptional 5’-end labeling in a template-dependent manner, successfully. She brings expertise in RNA biochemistry, enzymology, and molecular biology expertise to the synthetic biology group at Primordial Genetics.
Michele Rubino is a business and corporate development executive. His expertise lies at the intersection of biotechnology and clean technology. His passion is to bring positively disruptive technologies to fruition. Michele has been supporting Primordial Genetics in different capacities since 2016 throughout the company’s transition from industrial biotechnology to the current focus on nucleic acids manufacturing for pharmaceutical applications. Prior to his current role, Michele worked at San Diego-based Synthetic Genomics (now Viridos) where he oversaw programs across renewable fuels, chemicals, food, and pharma. Prior to that, he was Chief Operating Officer and Board Member of Beta Renewables, a joint venture between global biotech leader Novozymes, and private equity firm TPG, focused on commercializing advanced biofuels and biochemicals technologies. Throughout the years, he has also been involved in a variety of ventures as an entrepreneur and investor. Michele holds an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Milan, Italy, and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and the outdoors. He is an avid skier and his goal is to ski on every continent.
Karen Xu, PhD is a scientific leader in the biotechnology industry with an expertise in microbiology, molecular biology, protein purification and biochemistry, and synthetic biology. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from Montana State University with a research focus on microbial biofilms. She did her postdoctoral work in Bacillusbiotechnology and molecular genetics at University of California San Diego. After entering the biotechnology industry, Karen held various positions at Diversa Corporation, Genlantis and Synthetic Genomics. At Diversa (now part of BASF) as a Staff Scientist, she was a recipient of an NIH Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant for the discovery of novel cancer drugs. At a subsequent position with Synthetic Genomics, Karen was the Head of the Microbial Discovery Group. Under her leadership, numerous microbial strains, gene pathways and novel protein products were discovered; candidate proteins for agricultural, nutritional and biopolymer production applications were expressed and purified, with greater than 20 novel gene pathways characterized and filed in patent applications.