Innate Immunity was born out of Dr. Goutam Gupta's legacy research on Pierce's Disease in grape and HLB (citrus greening) in citrus. After struggling for many years to rid the disease from the industry, a group of grape and wine industry leaders traveled to New Mexico to learn more about about Dr. Gupta's methods-those that had previously been applied to human infectious disease. Understanding that his scientific methods and technological ideas could only truly impact growers, people, and society through product development and commercialization, he partnered with Michelle Miller of HD3 (www.hddd.org) to co-found Innate Immunity in 2016.
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Gupta received his MS and Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India where he was trained by G. N. Ramachandran and V. Sasisekharan, who pioneered the field of Protein Structure. For his expertise in infectious disease research, the citrus researchers and growers selected him as the national chair to build genome-based research and technology to combat Huanglongbing (aka Citrus Greening or HLB), the most deadly citrus disease. Dr. Gupta was able to apply the protein therapy to clear intact pathogens. This therapy involved engineering of a novel innate immunity. He has been successful in demonstrating that transgenic trees with enhanced innate immunity are resistant against bacteria that cause deadly diseases in grape and citrus.
Dr. Gupta retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2017 after a 30+ year career, and now holds the position of Senior Research Scientist at the New Mexico Consortium and is the Co Founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Innate Immunity.
Co-Founder and Managing Member
A social and business entrepreneur, Michelle D. Miller, MPA, is the Founder and CEO of the High Desert Discovery District (HD3), the first startup accelerator in New Mexico with the purpose of commercializing and bringing to market technologies created in New Mexico that will become high growth companies and create long lasting economic development and wealth in the state.
During her career, Michelle has held positions in all business sectors including the National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Small Business Administration, United States Senate, Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) and the Wall Street-based Chamberlain Communications. She brings over three decades of experience in brand marketing, brand management, crisis management, public affairs, public relations and executive management with significant expertise in the development, growth and promotion of companies, products and brands. She has been an original member of the board and management counsel to 30+ startup ventures.
She holds a Masters in Public Administration and Public Affairs from the University of Colorado. She holds a BA in Political Science from Colorado State University.
Pete began his career in 1973 as a chemist with Italian Swiss Colony in Asti, leaving to become Research Director at Korbel before arriving at Chateau St. Jean as a sparkling winemaker, helping to establish the winery in Graton and overseeing custom programs for a variety of wineries including Gloria Ferrer, Shadow Creek, Sebastiani and Cueno.
Following 20 years of service at Kendall-Jackson, Pete retired and launched his own consulting business. He has been an active board member of Family Winemakers and head of the legislative committee.
Mr. Downs served as President of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, as Chairman of the national trade association Wine America, and as a Board member, in addition to Family Winemakers, of the Sonoma County Wineries Association, American Vineyard Foundation and the Coalition For Free Trade. He was appointed by the California Secretary of Agriculture to the oversight boards tackling Pierce’s Disease and the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter.
Product Commercialization Officer
Supratim is a plant biologist with ten years of experience in physiology, plant pathology, plant genetics, metabolism agronomy, and systems biology. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed journals and has several years of experience as a Post-Doc Scientist for the New Mexico Consortium and the University of Arkansas.
He holds a Ph.D in Plant Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, a MS in Genetics, and a BS in Microbiology.
Brian relocated from Missouri to Los Alamos last year after receiving his MS in Life Science and Biological Engineering and Graduate certificate in Life Science Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of Missouri.
Prior to joining Innate, he served as a research assistant for multiple projects at the MU Medical School for technology evaluations and commercialization
Lucas is an experienced biochemist with broad expertise guiding research in protein engineering, enzymology, and microbiology. Engineered different proteins for better adaptation in industry conditions using directed evolution and rational design. He has published over 24 peer-reviewed journals and has several years of experience as a Post-Doc Scientist for the Johns Hopkins University and the University of São Paulo. Lucas believes that the combination of protein rational design with directed evolution is poised to change the way we do biotechnology and create tremendous value for Innate Immunity LLC and its partners.
He holds a BS in Biochemistry and an MS in Molecular Biology and a Ph.D in Protein Engineering and Synthetic Biology.