Jay McCarren joined Viridos in 2009 and brings deep biotech experience in microbiology, genetics, genetic engineering, microbial ecology, environmental sampling, and oxygenic photosynthesis. This experience helped in establishing Microbial Discovery as a core capability at Viridos.
Jay and his team have played an instrumental part in identifying and developing beneficial bacteria for use with major agricultural crops, which is now core to the algae program’s success. He was also key to the development of Viridos’ strain isolation and screening process and the establishment of the 2000+ strain culture collection that focuses on growth and lipid production potential under commercially relevant growth conditions. His work improving the photosynthetic efficiency of algae has also been critical to moving Viridos’ algae biofuels program closer to commercialization.
Following his formal education with a BA in Biochemistry from Colorado College and his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Scripps Research Institute/University of California San Diego, Jay conducted a four-year post-doctorate at MIT. There he studied microbial communities utilizing culture independent meta-genomic and meta-transcriptomic approaches and developing functional metagenomic screens to identify novel metabolic processes encoded in environmental DNA samples.