NovoNutrients, an alternative proteins company that uses industrial carbon dioxide fermentation, hydrogen, and naturally occurring microbes to create high-grade proteins for human and animal consumption, announced a slate of new technology leaders.

CEO David Tze appointed the following four experts to the company’s technical staff: Joachim Ritter, CTO; Kedar Patel, SVP biology; Satish Lakhapatri, VP engineering; and Bhupendra Soni, technical director of food.

Joachim Ritter, CTO, is an experienced research leader and scientist. He has built and led multidisciplinary teams to achieve commercial launches of new, bio-based products. He was involved with leading teams within DuPont Central Research for the better part of two decades and was Zymergen’s former VP of research and technology. Zymergen’s microbial bio-manufacturing platform enables chemical product design and scale-up. He received his undergraduate degree and PhD from Heidelberg University and did post-doctorate research at UC Berkeley.

Kedar Patel, SVP biology, is responsible for developing NovoNutrients’ foundational molecular biology and microbiology capabilities and, ultimately, for creating and characterizing the production cell lines at the core of its product offerings. Prior to joining the firm, Patel recruited and led a large team of scientists and engineers at Zymergen to create and operate their high-throughput platform for DNA assembly and microbe engineering in a broad range of industrially relevant organisms (bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi). Prior, he helped establish the Automated Strain Engineering pipeline for high-throughput engineering of yeasts at Amyris. With over 20 years of experience in the synbio industry, Patel is an author/inventor with more than 20 patents and publications. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Mumbai and a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University.

Satish Lakhapatri, VP engineering, joins NovoNutrients after nearly four years with industrial biotech company Calysta, where he was the director of engineering. At NovoNutrients, he is responsible for scale-up, reactor design, and process development. Lakhapatri began his career with Codexis, as a senior process engineer. Prior to that, he worked with Siluria Technologies as a staff chemical engineer for over five years. He is also an author/inventor with several patents and publications on reactor design and process scale-up. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toledo.

Bhupendra Soni joins NovoNutrients as technical director of food. His recent industry experience includes five years of helping lead the food fermentation program at MycoTechnology as VP of fermentation. Soni brings more than three decades of experience in biosciences and fermentation to the team. He is an inventor with 12 granted patents and eight filed patents, several of them on food protein applications. Soni also has more than 20 publications, four on optimization of gaseous fermentation. He holds a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.