Founder | Principal
Tom Turpen, Ph.D. has over 30 years of both healthcare and agricultural biotechnology experience in start-up and Fortune 500 companies as a senior executive, researcher and inventor. Dr. Turpen has most recently served as COO and Program Manager for the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). Dr. Turpen assisted the Florida Citrus Production Research Advisory Council, Department of Citrus, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services and Florida Citrus Mutual with the launch of the CRDF. He continues to provide: management of annual calls for research proposals and expert peer review; oversight of subsequent research contracts; and continuous consulting and advisory services with respect to technology commercialization and improvement of the research management process. Dr. Turpen served on the Liaison Committee of the National Research Council on Strategic Planning for the Florida Citrus Industry: Citrus Greening Disease and as a member of the USDA National Citrus Science and Technology Coordinating Group. As overall Project Director, he leads the effort on a National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Specialty Crop Research Initiative. This is a $9 million Coordinated Agricultural Program Grant awarded to CRDF entitled "Rear and Release Psyllids as Biological Control Agents - An Economical and Feasible Mid-Term Solution For Huanglongbing (HLB) Disease Of Citrus."
Dr. Turpen was the founding CEO of two immunotherapy and vaccine companies based on inventions licensed from the Baylor Research Institute, Rockefeller University and UT Southwestern Medical Center and has served as a director of several early stage life science companies. His research helped pioneer the use of plant biomass for industrial biotechnology applications including vaccines and pharmaceuticals at Zoecon Research Institute (Sandoz Crop Protection), Biosource and Large Scale Biology, Inc. Dr. Turpen has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters, and has been issued several patents in four different technology areas. He is a registered patent agent and has created a proprietary tool for mapping intellectual property, competitive landscapes and research portfolios. He has participated as an appointed volunteer in several civic advisory committees and has served as a member of National Institutes of Health Vaccine Study Sections for the Center for Scientific Review from 1998 to 2007. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of California at Riverside.