Team Category: Team

Nina Thayer

Nina joined GreenLight in late 2022, bringing nearly 15 years of experience as in-house and outside counsel to public and private technology and life science companies, and most recently as Vice President of Legal Affairs at Gemini Therapeutics, Inc. Previously, she served as Vice President and General Counsel of Allied Minds plc (LSE: ALM), a publicly traded venture firm focused on early-stage company investment and development within the technology and life science sectors. At Gemini and Allied Minds, Nina advised on corporate and securities laws matters, governance, and financing, commercial, and licensing transactions. Prior to Allied Minds, she was a corporate associate with Goodwin Procter LLP, where she represented private equity and venture capital firms as well as a wide range of public and private companies. While at Goodwin, Nina advised her clients on a variety of matters, including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings, corporate and securities law matters, employment, and corporate governance issues. Nina earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. She is admitted to the bar in Massachusetts.

Drew Cunningham, PhD

Inventor of much of our foundational RNA production technology, Drew joined GreenLight at its outset more than a decade ago following his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, where his graduate work centered around engineering microbes to maximize production of plasmid DNA for use in human and animal health applications. Drew is an author of peer-reviewed publications in the fields of metabolic engineering, bacteriology, and biotechnology. He holds many issued and provisional patents pertaining to cell-free bioprocessing and biocatalysis of various compounds, including many focused on nucleotide and RNA production for agriculture and human health. Drew led the original proof of technology and development work on our dsRNA production platform and its various raw materials. He has also established and run various R&D functions to support both our plant health and human health pipelines during discovery and early-development phases.

Andrey J. Zarur, Ph.D

Andrey co-founded GreenLight Biosciences in 2008 to develop advanced biological solutions to overcome some of the biggest challenges faced by the human race, including sustainable food production, response and preparedness for pandemics, and global access to effective human health.

He is a co-founder and was Chairman of the Board of Solid Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SLDB), a gene-therapy company targeting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He is also co-founder and Chairman of the Board at Lumicell Surgical, an oncology company delivering advanced imaging solutions to cancer surgery. He has been a co-founder and senior executive in more than a dozen companies in the healthcare and clean energy sectors. Prior to starting GreenLight, Andrey was Managing Partner at Kodiak Venture Partners, an early-stage, technology-driven venture fund based in Boston.

Dr. Zarur carried out graduate doctoral studies in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Immunology at Harvard-MIT. Andrey is a frequent invited speaker at scientific and trade conferences, has authored a number of landmark peer-reviewed articles in prestigious scientific journals, holds over 100 provisional and issued patents and has been regularly quoted in international media on the pandemic and RNA vaccines, including recent opinion pieces in Fortune and Stat as well as quotes in the Financial Times, Investors Business Daily, Wired, Business Insider  and CNBC.

Marta Ortega-Valle

Marta is a co-founder of GreenLight and leads the company’s sustainability efforts.

Since the company’s creation, she has had multiple roles as a founder from business development to fundraising to new business creation. Prior to joining GreenLight, Ortega-Valle was an entrepreneur in residence at Kodiak Venture Partners in Boston, where she started GreenLight with her co-founders Andrey Zarur and James Swartz. She started her career in management, strategy, and technology consulting at Accenture, where she held leadership positions in the US and in Europe, closing and leading consulting engagements for life sciences and consumer goods multinationals.

Ortega-Valle was selected to be part of the Accenture IPO team in 2001, then led the Business Intelligence unit in Paris. She is a board member at GaneshaLab and participates in MIT’s Innovation Teams, a flagship program that explores how to take technologies to impact. She holds an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan Fellows Program at the Sloan School of Management, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from ETSEIB (UPC) Engineering School of Barcelona.

Mark Singleton, Ph.D

Mark joined GreenLight with a number of R&D leadership roles and a solid track record for improving and optimizing product and project portfolios.

He led UPL’s transformation in the New Technology space using Platforms selected from many worldwide VC-funded companies.

While overseeing the building of the OpenAg Center in RTP and assembling a world class team of scientists, he came to know about GreenLight’s mission, which naturally falls in line with Mark’s experience and values. At Arysta LifeScience he was appointed as the first ever VP of R&D and Regulatory and oversaw a multi-year program that increased the value of the R&D portfolio five-fold and doubled the contribution of BioSolutions. In doing so, he created more than $2 billion of pipeline value. He also had the opportunity to become Chemtura’s Head of R&D for North America and then became the Global Head of R&D and Regulatory.

The first half of Mark’s 25-year career was spent discovering and developing new products and trying wherever possible to leverage biological solutions or smart delivery systems to minimize chemical usage. Mark has had a wide range of experiences in both agricultural R&D and crop protection.