Thomas W. Jeffries – President and Founder
Dr. Jeffries has forty years of experience in microbial biochemistry, physiology and metabolic engineering of yeasts. He began working full time to build Xylome in January of 2013. From 1979-2012, Dr. Jeffries was a Scientist, Senior Scientist and former Director of the Institute for Microbial and Biochemical Technology at the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. As a USDA Professor, he taught Biotechnology and Industrial Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1990 to 2012 where he currently holds the title Professor Emeritus. Dr. Jeffries provides strategic direction to the scientific team by selecting yeast platforms, commercial targets and metabolic approaches, and he conducts process and strain development. His areas of expertise include thermochemical and biochemical pretreatments for the bioconversion of cellulosic and hemicellulosic materials to fuels and chemicals, physiology and metabolic regulation of yeasts and fungi, genetics and biochemistry of yeasts, fermentation, yeast metabolic engineering, development of yeast genetic transformation technologies, large scale expression analysis, and yeast genomics. His work on the biochemistry, physiology, expression analysis, metabolic modeling, genomics and engineering of unconventional yeasts has resulted in more than 170 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 13 patents. His pioneering work in the discovery of xylose fermentation by yeasts, biotechnology for fuels and chemicals and metabolic engineering of non-conventional yeasts has been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the Superior Service Award in 1988, the Charles D. Scott Award in 2008, the USDA Forest Service, Chief’s Honor Award for Superior Science in 2000, the Forest Service Award for External Technology Transfer in 2006, and the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) Charles Porter Award in 2015. Dr. Jeffries was elected Fellow to the International Academy of Wood Science in 1993, Fellow to the Society for Industrial Microbiology, in 1998, and to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2005. Dr. Jeffries was elected to Chair the Fermentation Division of the American Society for Microbiology in 2005, to the Board of Directors for the SIMB in 2007, to the International Commission on Yeasts in 2009, and as President of the SIMB from 2012-2013.
Thomas J. Kelleher – Chief Executive Officer
David Z. Mokry – Metabolic Engineering
Dr. David Z. Mokry is a biochemist and molecular biologist with more than 10 years of professional experience. In addition to expertise in metabolic engineering, genetic manipulation, and high-throughput screening in non-traditional yeast, he has extensive experience in protein characterization by biochemical, biophysical, and biological techniques. Dr. Mokry has published in several research areas, including yeast complementation, protein folding, and membrane protein biology.
Christopher H. Calvey – Metabolic Engineering
Dr. Chris Calvey is a cellular and molecular biologist with more than seven years of experience in molecular and synthetic biology with particular emphasis on yeast metabolic engineering and in vitro enzymatic DNA assembly techniques, which he used while part of the team that created the world’s first synthetic bacterial cell. Dr. Calvey was the first to develop a genetic transformation system for the oleaginous yeast Lipomyces starkeyi, and he has established optimal conditions for lipid synthesis in this organism.
Terese Nelson – Research Assistant
Terese Nelson is an integral member of Xylome’s research team. She entered the Biology program at Carleton College as a National Merit Scholar, and in the course of her education gained experience in teaching and research in both plant and animal biology. At Xylome, in addition to providing professional support and lab management, she participates in gene cloning, strain screening and development.
Phillip R. Disher – Director of Marketing