SAN FRANCISCO, April 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Biomaterials company MycoWorks today announced the appointment of Chief Science Officer Dr. Janne Kerovuo and Distinguished Scientist of Fermentation Dr. Bhupendra Soni. These announcements come as MycoWorks invests further in the company's R&D, preparing for the opening of an additional manufacturing facility, and scaling its current facilities to meet growing demand from the fashion and footwear industries for the company's patented material technology, Fine Mycelium™.
Chief Science Officer, Janne Kerovuo, Ph.D. will oversee Product Development and manage the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) at MycoWorks, joining SAB Board Chair Philip Ross, Co-Founder and CTO of MycoWorks, and SAB members Dr. N. Louise Glass (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley), Dr. David Hibbett (Clark University), Dr. Vera Meyer (Technische Universität), and Dr. Jonathan S. Schilling (Itasca Biological Station & Laboratories, University of Minnesota).
Dr. Kerovuo will lead the Research and Development team in building the tunable Fine Mycelium™ platform in order to scale and accelerate production capacity. This work will range from identifying strategic fungal strains for products both current and in development, to exploring ideal finishing chemistries and leveraging mycogenomics to optimize protein and metabolite expression. Dr. Kerovuo will lead these innovations with a multipronged approach to expand the capacities and output of the Fine Mycelium platform for superior, biological products.
Dr. Kerovuo brings over 25 years of experience leading the development of numerous biotechnology products and delivering them to market, including building the R&D platform for the agricultural biotech start-up Agradis, which led to an $85M exit. He previously served as Chief Technology Officer at NewLeaf, in addition to leading their Scientific Advisory Board, and has held leadership positions at Monsanto, Agradis, Synthetic Genomics, and Diversa.
Distinguished Scientist of Fermentation Bhupendra Soni, Ph.D. will support further development of the MycoWorks Scientific Advisory Board and engage Product Development and R&D, along with external partners, to ensure MycoWorks continues to lead world-class research.
Dr. Soni will lead the team in optimizing the Fine Mycelium fermentation process with the aim of maximizing yield over efficient growth cycles, working closely with Dr. Keruvuo to scale and deliver first class biological materials.
Dr. Soni spent the past 14 years working with emerging biotechnology companies, including Glori Energy Inc and Marrone Bio Innovations, and most recently served as VP of Fermentation at MycoTech Corporation, directing their liquid fermentation systems using mycelium. At MycoTech, his process and formula innovations led to the commercialization of a new mycelium-based product, as well as two additional commercial products slated for the near future. He has been granted ten patents, including five on mycelium fermentation processes, with six additional patents on mycelium technologies filed and under review.
"Janne and Bhupendra each share our vision to grow the future of materials. Their expertise will ensure MycoWorks can continue to develop innovative materials in collaboration with our customers. Our focus is on enriching R&D and growing production capacity to bring our sustainable, high performing materials to the world," said MycoWorks CEO, Matthew Scullin.
MycoWorks is recognized globally for its creation of Fine Mycelium™, a breakthrough in materials science and biotechnology that refers both to the company's proprietary process and to the class of materials that are exclusive to MycoWorks, including the company's flagship product, Reishi™.
In November 2020, MycoWorks closed $45 million in Series B funding and announced the opening of a new plant in the San Francisco Bay area, which enabled ten times previous production capacity. The MycoWorks team now exceeds 100 employees as the company focuses on scaling to meet demand for Fine Mycelium materials.
Fine Mycelium, a new type of sustainable material that offers fashion and footwear brands an option for fine leather, carries the unique advantage of total control over quality and customization. Materials are grown to brand partners' specifications for performance, aesthetic features and more, allowing creative control to design from the material on up, while minimizing waste and ensuring consistent quality. This revolutionary ability is a result of Fine Mycelium technology, which engineers mycelium during growth to form proprietary, interlocking cellular structures for unparalleled strength and durability.
In 2013, co-founders Philip Ross and Sophia Wang formed MycoWorks, a San Francisco based biomaterials company dedicated to bringing new mycelium materials to the world. MycoWorks' patented Fine Mycelium technology is an advanced manufacturing platform and breakthrough in materials science, which engineers mycelium during growth to form proprietary, interlocking cellular structures for unparalleled strength and durability. Fine Mycelium also refers to the class of high-performance materials made possible from this technology and exclusive to MycoWorks. Fine Mycelium materials, including the company's flagship product, Reishi, offer fashion and footwear brands a new option for fine leather. They are the only type of natural material that performs like cowhide leather and offer the revolutionary advantage of customization, grown to brand partners' specifications to meet the highest quality standards. MycoWorks believes that new luxury means complete control over performance, quality, and sustainability.