Staff

Co-Founders

Dr. Kenneth J. Piller, Ph. D, President

Dr. Piller is Co-founder and President of SoyMeds, and an adjunct Research Associate Professor in the UNC Charlotte Department of Biology. Dr. Piller holds a PhD in plant molecular biology and a BS in molecular biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Following graduate school Dr. Piller completed a fellowship in parasitology at The John Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1997 Dr. Piller accepted a position with Monsanto in St. Louis where he served as a team leader for various projects in their biotech pipeline. Dr. Piller relocated to NC in 2001 and joined UNC Charlotte as an adjunct professor in 2002 where he lectured and directed the course for plant physiology. Dr. Piller’s research interests have always focused on plant and agricultural biotechnology.

While at UNC Charlotte, Drs. Piller and Bost began collaborating and translating their interests in plant biology and immunology into novel proof-of-concept projects that lead to the spin-out of SoyMeds in 2005. Dr. Piller has published numerous scientific articles, patents and book chapters. Together Drs. Bost and Piller have generated >$1.5M in external funding for SoyMeds. Dr. Piller serves as President and Chairman of the Board for SoyMeds.

Dr. Kenneth L. Bost, Ph. D, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Bost is a UNC Charlotte Belk Distinguished Professor of Biology and Cofounder/CSO for SoyMeds. Dr. Bost holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a BS in zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Bost was both an associate and assistant professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at Tulane University Medical Center and an associate scientist at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Center for AIDS Research and at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. While at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, he also worked as an assistant professor in the department of physiology.

Dr. Bost began his career at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas as a McLaughlin Postdoctoral Fellow and then as a Research Assistant Professor. His interests include the immune response, the interaction of the nervous and immune systems, and the mechanisms of mucosal immunity.

Dr. Bost has been honored with many research awards and served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He has also served on and chaired study sections for the National Institutes of Health dating back to 1993. He is a widely published author of many scientific articles, book chapters and patents. He has generated >$7M in externally funded grants for his research. Dr. Bost co-founded SoyMeds with Dr. Kenneth Piller in 2005 and currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer.

Employees

Dr. Linda Robles, Ph. D, Research Scientist

Dr. Robles works directly with SoyMeds planning and conducting experiments relevant to SBIR-funded projects for development of a cancer diagnostic and also an oral therapeutic for treating autoimmune disease. Dr. Robles joined the Company in 2015 after completing her postdoctoral studies at North Carolina State University under the direction of Drs. Jose Alonso and Anna Stepanova where she studied biosynthesis of the plant hormone, auxin. She earned her Ph. D. in Cell, Molecular and Developmental biology from the University of California, Riverside in 2010. This is also where she also received her B.S in Biology in 2004. Her love of plant biology research began while volunteering as an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Julia Bailey-Serres. During her career, Dr. Robles has published many research articles and review papers.

Raymond Fernalld, MS, Research Scientist

Raymond Fernalld joined SoyMeds in 2014, bringing 18 years of experience in the biotechnology field as a researcher in academic, federal, and industrial laboratories, including positions at the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Pfizer. He earned his MS degree in biotechnology from The Johns Hopkins University and his BS degree in biology with a concentration in genetics from Cornell University. As a research scientist, Mr. Fernalld works with Drs. Piller and Bost on laboratory experiments and publications involving SoyMeds’ pre-clinical line of soybean-based therapeutics; he also acts as laboratory manager for the company.

Jennifer K. Woodford, MA, Administrative Assistant

Jennifer manages the company’s finances, policies, and federal grant compliance. With SoyMeds since fall 2009, she brings 20 years of experience in administration, management, and communications. She also founded IMPACT biotechnology and life science magazine and works with the NC Research Campus and other science-based organizations as a free-lance writer and contractor.

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