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NewLeaf Symbiotics hires Plant Researcher and Patent Agent Professionalqrcode

Apr. 27, 2017

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Apr. 27, 2017
NewLeaf Symbiotics announces two additions to its growing team of agricultural professionals. Dr. Quan Zhang joins NewLeaf as the newest member of its team of research scientists, and Donna Scherer comes on board as a registered patent professional.
Dr. Zhang comes to NewLeaf with 10+ years of plant science research aimed at new discoveries in crop production technology. He most recently worked at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center as a research scientist for the project “Engineering Nitrogen Symbiosis for Africa,” funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously, he worked as senior researcher at Washington University-St. Louis. Dr. Zhang received his PhD in Plant Pathology from Oklahoma State University-Stillwater and did his postdoctoral studies at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell, Ithaca, N.Y.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Quan to our research team,” says Dr. Janne Kerovuo, NewLeaf Vice President, Research and Discovery. “He has worked extensively on both plants and microbes and studied both plant-pathogen and plant-symbiont interactions. We screened well over one hundred candidates to find the right combination of plant biology, microbiology, molecular biology and genomics expertise. We finally found Quan from the Danforth Plant Science Center, literally next door to us!”

Dr. Zhang says, “I’m enthusiastic to play a role in the emerging technology in biologicals. We need to complement as well as develop alternatives to existing crop protection products and new and complementary crop production technologies to ensure global food security. I believe NewLeaf is well-positioned to establish microbial-based solutions as a mainstay in sustainable cropping practices.”He adds that his job with NewLeaf plays perfectly into the technology areas he wants to explore. “I will be developing tools to identify the various beneficial bacterial strains to advance in our pipeline, from the bench to the field. 
Donna Scherer, a registered patent agent with 20+ years experience, joins the NewLeaf team after previously working as a patent agent for Monsanto and the BioAg Alliance. Scherer will serve NewLeaf as an accomplished patent agent with extensive intellectual property (IP) experience and comprehensive knowledge of U.S. and foreign patent law, specifically in biotechnology. She also spent several years as a molecular biology laboratory researcher and holds a bachelor of science degree in microbiology from The Pennsylvania State University.

“Donna will contribute solid experience as a patent agent in the area of genetics and agricultural biologicals. Her skills will be invaluable as we move our rapidly advancing technology toward commercialization,” says Tom Laurita, NewLeaf CEO. “We look forward to her guidance and expertise as we navigate legal requirements to acquire patents for our exclusive microbial innovations to improve plant efficiencies and yield for farmers.”Scherer says, “I’m excited to work with the NewLeaf staff. They’re a great group of highly-talented and team-oriented individuals. Plus, the company works in an area of science that is particularly appealing to me and enormously important for the future of crop production.”

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