Leadership

Thomas J. Kelleher – Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Thomas Kelleher is a biotechnologist with more than 30 years of leadership experience in the industrial production of recombinant biopharmaceuticals, antibiotics and industrial enzymes. He has worked for and with consulting engineering firms to complete the realization of seven commercial production facilities.Prior to joining Xylome, he was a Director of Process Development at Amgen during the 12-year expansion of commercial sales from $9 to $20 billion/yr.  Prior to joining Amgen, Dr. Kelleher was the Senior Director of Manufacturing and Process Development at Cubist where he led manufacturing, process development, plant construction and long-term contractual supply agreements for the FDA Licensing of Cubicin, an antibiotic of last-resort for Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and MRSA “super bugs”. Cubicin was the first new-class of antibiotic in 32 years. It has now served 2 million patients and has licensed sales that exceeded $1 billion dollars in 2012.Prior to these leadership assignments, Dr. Kelleher held positions of increasing responsibility at Biowork-IMS Inc., ZymoGenetics/Novo Nordisk, Chiron/Cooper Laboratories and Millipore/Worthington Biochemicals.  Kelleher’s Ph.D. thesis was on lignocellulosic biochemistry in fungi.His areas of expertise include :

  • Production of recombinant biopharmaceuticals, antibiotics and industrial enzymes
  • Industrial consultation for process development
  • GMP production of injectables and biologicals

Thomas W. Jeffries – President and Founder

Dr. Jeffries has forty years of leadership experience in microbial biochemistry, physiology and metabolic engineering of yeasts. Throughout his career he has directed research and development into renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials – as well as sustainable technologies. He began working full time to build Xylome in January of 2013. Dr. Jeffries’ professional experience includes roles as Scientist, Senior Scientist and former Director of the Institute for Microbial and Biochemical Technology at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. As a USDA Professor, he taught Biotechnology and Industrial Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 20 years, and retired in 2012 as Emeritus Professor. 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 :

    • 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
    • Thermochemical and biochemical pretreatments for the bioconversion of cellulosic and hemicellulosic materials to fuels and chemicals.

Joanna Bundus, PhD – Assistant Director of Research

Dr. Bundus has joined Xylome with advanced degrees and professional experience in genetics, molecular biology, and genome analysis. From an early start in yeast research as an undergraduate at Western University in London, Canada, she completed a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto where her research productivity resulted in several grants and awards including a L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Award. She was the Lead Teaching Assistant (among 40 TA’s) for an undergraduate first year biology class of 1800 students, and supervised eight undergraduate student projects, which resulted in two publications. Following post-doctoral positions at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dr. Bundus has joined the Xylome team to lead its molecular biology and strain development research.

Her areas of expertise include :

  • Evolutionary and population genetics
  • Large scale experimental design and data analysis
  • Genome sequence analysis