May 12, 2016
Davis, Calif. - BioConsortia, Inc., innovator of microbial solutions for natural trait enhancement and yield improvement, announces the appointment of Dr. Hong Zhu to the newly formed position of Sr. Vice President of Lead Development and Manufacturing.
Hong Zhu comes to BioConsortia with more than 20 years of industrial experience in microbial product development for crop protection and yield enhancement. Most recently he was Director of Biologics Process Development at Bayer CropScience where he was responsible for fermentation, formulation and scale-up as well as manufacturing support of Bayer’s new and existing biological products. In 2014, Hong was elected as R&D Fellow into Bayer Expert Club, an esteemed group that recognizes the top scientists in the company. He joined Bayer CropScience following its acquisition of AgraQuest, where he had been Director of Fermentation and Formulation. While at AgraQuest, Hong also established advanced lead-screening platform and pipeline development strategy, periodically leading the company’s fungicide pipeline program. Prior to AgraQuest, Hong was instrumental in the development of biofertility and biocontrol products at PhilomBios (now Novozymes BioAg) and Mycologic. Hong also has previous experience founding and leading his own company MetaBios, in Canada, which developed and manufactured single-use bioreactors for cell culture, fermentation and bioprocessing.
BioConsortia CEO, Marcus Meadows-Smith, expresses his excitement in working with Dr. Zhu again, saying, “Hong has proven ability to innovate and lead development teams to deliver high-caliber product launches. He has an eye for effective R&D strategy and is a brilliant addition to our team. He joins us at an ideal time as we now begin to focus more on development after two years of strong research here in the US.”
Hong holds a PhD from the University of Alberta and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Guelph in Canada. He is an inventor on multiple patents around fermentation processes, biopesticides, and plant growth promotion microbes, and has published numerous papers in the field of applied microbiology.
“I am extremely excited about joining BioConsortia and working on another exciting biologics play with my former AgraQuest colleagues,” Dr. Zhu said. “BioConsortia has assembled a great R&D team, refined its unique microbial selection platform, and delivered some promising results toward to crop efficiency and yield improvement. I am looking forward to being involved in taking our discoveries and solutions through the next phases of development and commercialization.”
BioConsortia, Inc. is developing effective microbial solutions that enhance plant phenotypes and increase crop yields. We are pioneering the use of directed selection in identifying teams of microbes - working like plant breeders and selecting plants based on targeted characteristics, then isolating the associated microbial community. Our proprietary Advanced Microbial Selection (AMS) process enriches the crop microbiome, allowing us to identify organisms that influence the expression of beneficial traits in plants. We are currently focused on products for fertilizer use efficiency, growth improvement and both abiotic tolerance and biotic resistance, as commercial seed treatments, liquid in-furrow products, and granule products for a range of crops.