Scientific Advisory Board

Arild Johannessen, Dr. Scient

Arild Johannessen, Dr. Scient (Ph.D.), joined the Scientific Calysta Advisory Board in 2017. He is Managing Director at Biosentrum AS in Norway. From 2014-2017, Dr. Johannessen served as Vice President, Fermentation at Calysta, with responsibility for fermentation R&D and project management. He joined Calysta in 2014 as a result of the acquisition of BioProtein AS. Previously, Dr. Johannessen was with the International Research Institute of Stavanger (Norway) (IRIS) where he held positions including Research Director for Biotechnology and Managing Director for the IRIS biotechnology subsidiary. Prior to IRIS he was head of R&D at Biosentrum AS, and a scientist at Norferm AS.

Dr. Johannessen has focused his career on large scale microbial fermentation. He has been an invited speaker at conferences in the field of microbial production, with a special emphasis on fermentation using gases. He is an author of approximately 10 scientific publications and more than 10 patents and patent applications. He received a Dr. Scient (Ph.D.) in 1996 from the University of Bergen, and did his post-doctoral research at University of Bergen in the laboratory of Dr. Ian Pryme.

David Maki
Altitude Life Science Ventures

David Maki was named to the Calysta Scientific Advisory Board in 2013. Mr. Maki has been involved in life science organizations for over 30 years and co-founded Altitude Life Science Ventures, a venture capital firm that seeks to identify and support early stage life science companies. Prior to founding Altitude, he served as a Principal with Perennial Ventures, and as a Vice President with Tredegar Investments. He previously spent almost two decades in intellectual property law, focusing on IP strategic planning for life science companies. He served as the senior partner within his firm’s biotechnology group, which represented more than 60 life science companies in a variety of disciplines, including protein and small molecule therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostic instrumentation, and bioinformatics. During his tenure, he also held the positions of Managing Partner and Financial Partner. Mr. Maki is known as an industry expert in the development and execution of intellectual property strategies in the life sciences arena. He has served as a Board member for a number of life science companies, and on the Washington Biotechnology Advisory Committee. He currently serves as an independent Director on the Board of Pulmatrix, Inc. and is Chairman of the Board of the Infectious Disease Research Institute.

Josh Silverman, Ph.D.

Josh Silverman was Calysta’s Founder, and joined the Scientific Advisory Board in 2019. Dr. Silverman served as Calysta’s Chief Product and Innovation Officer from 2016-2018, its Chief Technology Officer from 2014-2016, and served as its Chief Scientific Officer from 2013-2014.

Dr. Silverman is an experienced biotechnology entrepreneur with a history of successful development of novel technology platforms. Prior to founding Calysta, Dr. Silverman held positions at two public biotechnology companies, Maxygen, Inc. and Amgen, Inc. as well as serving as VP of Product development for Amunix, Inc. He has been involved in the founding and financing of five startup biotechnology companies (Avidia, Versartis, Diartis, Siluria, and Calysta). His efforts contributed to raising over $110 million in equity financing across these companies, as well as the sale of Avidia for $290M three years after founding the company and an IPO by Versartis in 2014 which raised $126 million.

Dr. Silverman is generally interested in tools and applications of biological engineering as a robust and predictable engineering discipline. He serves as an advisor for a number of biotechnology companies and is a frequent speaker at scientific meetings. He has been directly involved in successfully bringing three novel biopharmaceuticals from early phase research into clinical trials, with experience in both regulatory filings and drug manufacturing. He is an author on more than 10 scientific publications as well as over 30 patents and pending patent applications. He received his B.Sc. in Molecular Biology from UC San Diego and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford University.

Ronnie KH Tan
Blue Archipelago

Ronnie Tan joined the Calysta Scientific Advisory Board in 2016. He is Vice-President at Blue Archipelago – the largest integrated shrimp enterprise in Malaysia, responsible for downstream operations including sales & marketing, branding and the processing plant. He is concurrently a non-executive Director at Regal Springs Group – the largest tilapia integrator in the world.

An aquaculturist by training, he has over 30 years’ experience in international marketing, supply chain and general management in multinational chemical and feed companies such as Rhone Poulenc and Imperial Chemical Industries. In addition to aquaculture and feed, he has working knowledge of the oleochemical and zero calorie natural sweetener industries. He was a board member of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board and ICI’s representative to RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil).

Mr. Tan, who is Malaysian, read Environmental Biology at King’s College, University of London and obtained his MSc. in Aquaculture from University of Stirling. He holds a business diploma from Henley Management College, UK.

Mike Velings

Mike Velings joined the Calysta Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board in 2015. He is the founder and the driving force behind Aqua-Spark, a global investment fund for sustainable aquaculture, combining a healthy financial profit with environmental and social impact. A lifelong entrepreneur, Mike has spent decades jumpstarting a range of successful businesses. Among other ventures, he co-founded Connexie, which has helped catalyze a professional employment industry across the Netherlands. Mike naturally combines his business background with environmental and social engagement. He understands the potential for business to create durable solutions to complex world problems. With this in mind, Mike founded A-Spark: an investment company that assists entrepreneurs across the globe in realizing their visions of a start-up with a world-changing element. Through A-Spark he has invested in a broad range of ventures over the years– both in the developed and developing world. Mike serves on several boards and is also a member of the Chairman’s Council of Conservation International and an Honorary Global Marine Fellow.