ABOUT US

FOOD AS MEDICINE™

The Solarea breakthrough came from the combined efforts of the company’s co-founders who established a link between the discovery of an untapped source of microorganisms with probiotic potential in healthy foods, and their applications in inflammatory processes including the gut-musculoskeletal axis.

The first application aims to address the metabolic processes of osteopenia and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women where diet alone is not sufficient to maintain a healthy skeleton and natural alternatives are desired over conventional pharmaceuticals

What
Solarea Bio
means?

  • Solarea Bio means effective products based on strong scientific and clinical evidence.
  • Solarea Bio means understanding the interactions between our body and the microbes in our foods and how they can be harnessed for health.
  • Solarea Bio means using Food as Medicine™.

Our Team

Gerardo V Toledo, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and CEO
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A microbial ecologist turned entrepreneur, for the last 20 years has been leading high output teams during the early stages of Diversa Corp. (now BASF), Synthetic Genomics, Indigo Ag, and founder of Solarea Bio. He has been at the front of the company from a brainstorm with friends to a successful preclinical stage and now entering into a clinical validation of the effect specific combinations of microbes and plant fibers can have on health management. He likes the outdoors enjoying mountain biking and have completed 3 ironman races.

Eric Schott, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Vice President for Translational Research and Operations
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As a graduate student at the University of Rochester Medical School, Eric Pioneered studies aimed at defining the role of the gut microbiome in the induction of osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions influenced by obesity and type 2 diabetes as comorbid factors. This work set the stage for Solarea’s initial focus on musculoskeletal health, where Eric now leads the preclinical and translational development of Solarea products. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with his family and friends.

David Easson Jr., Sc.D.

Chief Manufacturing Officer
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David Easson is currently Chief Manufacturing Officer at Solarea Bio.  He has over 25 years experience in the biotech industry in both private and public sectors.  Prior to joining Solarea, David built and led process development and manufacturing functions at Indigo Ag, AOBiome, Epic Therapeutics / Baxter Healthcare, Collaborative BioAlliance and Alpha-Beta Technology.  He is currently a board member of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, a biotech incubator and previously served on the boards of the UMass Memorial Medical Center Foundation, the Worcester Business Development Corporation and the Bay State Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).  He also served as a research grant review committee member for JDRF International.  David has a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of South Carolina and a Sc.D. in biochemical engineering from MIT.

Mark Charbonneau, Ph.D

VP of Research & Development
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Mark is a biotechnology R&D leader with expertise in live biotherapeutic drug development, mechanistic modeling, computational biology, and biomarker assay development. He is a first-generation college graduate who received a B.S. in microbiology at Michigan State University, before obtaining a PhD in computational and systems biology at Washington University in St. Louis in the lab of Jeffrey Gordon. Mark has held various roles of increasing responsibility in biotechnology organizations. He integrates technical acumen and emotional intelligence to build high-functioning teams and foster innovation. Mark and his team are harnessing the untapped microbial diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables to create novel solutions to manage inflammatory diseases and enable people to lead long, healthy lives.

Thomas Ishoey, Ph.D.

Head of Microbial Genomics
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Thomas is a passionate and innovative technologist with expertise in early stage technology development and commercialization. Thomas has held C-level management positions with demonstrated turn-around and team building capability across multiple disciplines. He brings deep experience in evaluating technology concepts and implementation plans, fundraising, and has experience in biology, genomics and engineering including industrial and subsurface applied microbiology and biotechnology.

Greg Sieczkiewicz, Ph.D., J.D.

Chief IP Counsel
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Greg is a trusted intellectual property strategy advisor for entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, emerging start-ups, and public biotech/pharmaceutical companies. Over the past 20 years, he has contributed to the creation, execution, assertion and defense of strategic legal plans for a diverse array of biotechnology companies. In addition, he has been the front line agreement negotiator and drafter for licensing, development and commercialization agreements relating to biologics and small molecules from pre-IND to approved drugs. Greg was awarded a PhD in cell, molecular and developmental biology from the Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a law degree from Suffolk University Law School, and an undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross. Greg has been affiliated with top law firms including Mintz Levin, Proskauer Rose, and Foley Hoag. Greg is currently the Chief IP Counsel at MPM Capital, and was previously Vice President of IP at Flagship Pioneering.

Juliana Soto, Ph.D.

Translational Bioinformatics Lead
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A Colombian Scientist building a career in healthcare, entrepreneurship, and innovation. At Solarea Bio, she leads the Bioinformatics core and develops the strategy for projects related to microbiome biomarker discovery and genome mining. She also built and manages the company’s cloud-based computing infrastructure. Juliana is committed to advocating and inspiring girls from underrepresented communities to reach their potential in the STEM fields. She loves dancing salsa, hiking, and cycling.

Alicia Ballok, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Discovery
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Driven by her desire to leverage microbes for the benefit of humanity, Alicia is an innovator with a passion for host-microbe interactions. Prior to joining Solarea, she worked in the area of microbial drug development, with a focus on autoimmune disorders and oncology. As the leader of Solarea’s Discovery team, Alicia oversees the development of new therapies for inflammatory diseases by accessing the untapped potential of plant associated microbes.

Alicia received her B.S. in molecular biology and M.S. in genetics from the University of New Hampshire. She completed a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology at Dartmouth College and pursued postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Susan Corbett, M.S.

Senior Computational Scientist
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After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, working as a software engineer for over ten years, and spending some time as a stay-at-home mom, Susan returned to college to earn a Master’s degree in Biology and Biotechnology. She has developed patient monitoring systems at HP/Agilent, real-time signal capture and visualization software for pathogen detection systems at PathoGenetix, and cloud-based AWS bioinformatics pipelines at Indigo Agriculture and New England Biolabs. She particularly enjoys developing software for life science applications and is currently developing high-throughput AWS infrastructure and bioinformatics pipelines for Solarea Bio. Her favorite activities are cycling, kayaking, hiking, playing clarinet and saxophone, and spending time with family and friends.

Ryan Green, Ph.D.

Scientist ll, Discovery
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Ryan has always had a passion for improving community health, whether as a clinic volunteer or a firefighter. He continued this passion at Virginia Commonwealth University where he was awarded his Ph.D. in Microbiology. With a focus on human-microbe interactions, he studied how bacteria invade and manipulate immune cells. Now he leverages his experience to support immunological analysis within the Discovery Team at Solarea. In his free time Ryan enjoys the outdoors and traveling.

Antonio Tempesta

Bioprocess Engineer
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A Boston native and UMass graduate, Antonio Tempesta brings a decade of experience in process development and bioreactor operation to Solarea Bio.  A biologist with a background in experimental design, chemical engineering, and organic chemistry, Antonio is passionate about industrial biology’s ability to meet the world’s challenges in the 21stcentury.  Prior to joining Solarea, Antonio worked on a team developing fermentation and purification processes to produce surfactants from agricultural byproducts as a sustainable alternative to ingredients derived from palm oil.

Hannah Maisano

Research Associate
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Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, Hannah graduated from Wellesley College in 2020 with a B.A. in Biology and Psychology. At Solarea Bio, she has a cross functional role in the Discovery and bioprocess teams and manages the operational aspects of the lab. She hopes to pursue a PhD in Neuromodulation and/or Cognitive Sciences. In her spare time, Hannah umpires field hockey at the collegiate and international level.

Daniela Diaz-Infante

Research Associate ll, Discovery
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Daniela is a biotech engineer originally from Mexico. After working in industry for a few years, she moved to the Netherlands to continue her scientific development and pursue her Masters’ degree in medical biotechnology at the Wageningen University.Daniela is an experienced molecular biologist and had applied her skills to studies of human intestinal health, IBD, clinical studies for cosmetic products. Besides her love of science, she enjoys traveling and learning from different cultures around the world. At Solarea, she works at the immunology team developing assays for testing novel microbial agents.

Luis Arturo Montes de Oca Valeriano

Research Associate ll, Discovery
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Arturo obtained his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM Queretaro) in 2018. After graduating, Arturo moved to the Netherlands to start his master’s program in Food Technology with a specialization in Food Biotechnology & Biorefining. He then moved to Ecuador to begin his professional career working in a microbiology laboratory, a brewery, and within the food industry. He is passionate about science, especially when it comes to improving quality of life through modulation of the microbiota and through the use of beneficial microorganisms in food products. Outside of work, he enjoys listening to music, playing the piano, the ukulele and spending time with his family and friends.

Kelsey Miller

Scientist, Discovery
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Kelsey grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to Boston in 2016 to start her career in microbiome drug discovery, with a focus on liver and inflammatory disorders. She earned her B.S. in biology from Ursinus College and her M.S. in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Delaware. Now she leverages her experiences in microbiology and molecular biology to support the Discovery Team at Solarea. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys hiking, binge watching TV shows, trying new foods, and hanging out with her family and friends.

Eric Hauke

Research Associate, Discovery
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After growing up in Vermont, Eric went on to study neuroscience at Colgate University. He developed a strong passion for science and became particularly interested in mycology and natural products. Prior to Solarea, Eric worked on a fermentation team focused on secondary metabolism in filamentous fungi. At Solarea, Eric has enjoyed isolating new microbial strains from locally sourced foods and characterizing their probiotic potential. In his free time Eric enjoys hiking, skiing, and kiteboarding.

Scientific Advisory Board

Susan Bukata, MD

Michael Zuscik, PhD

Douglas P. Kiel, MD, MPH

Clifford Rosen, MD

Board of Directors

Anula Jayasuriya, MD, PhD, MBA

Matthew Walker, J.D., MBA

Neal Bhadkamkar, Ph.D., MBA

Gerardo V Toledo, Ph.D.

Greg Sieczkiewicz, Ph.D., J.D.

Collaborators

Our Values

Integrity

Trust and
transparency

Scientific rigor

Diversity
and inclusion

Tenacity

Innovation

Sense
of Purpose