Sparked by Innovation and Fueled by Collaboration


With decades of combined experience in discovering, developing, and commercializing early to late-stage agricultural technologies, our dynamic leadership team embodies our commitment to impactful solutions.

Martha Schlicher, Ph.D., MBA

CEO, Board of Directors

More than 30 years of Ag Tech commercial, strategy and technical leadership at Monsanto Corp. and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals along with Board roles at Greenlight Bio, VIVE, and the Department of Energy.

Dr. Schlicher received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Illinois and an MBA from Northwestern University.

Alexander Hromockyj, Ph.D.


Over 25 years of Biopharma and Ag Tech experience leading strategic and technical R&D programs at Pfizer and Monsanto Corporations.

Dr. Hromockyj holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the Uniformed Services University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Board of Directors

With a proven history of success across various early-stage agricultural ventures, the Impetus Ag Board offers invaluable guidance and strategic insight to foster ongoing innovation.

Brian Clevinger, Ph.D.

Prolog Ventures | Yield Lab

Managing Director at Prolog Ventures and Yield Lab, Dr. Clevinger brings over 25 years of commercial bioscience expertise.

Ganesh Kishore, Ph.D.

Spruce Capital

Co-founder and Managing Partner at Spruce Capital, Dr. Kishore has a distinguished career in biotechnology R&D and business.

Mark Deadwyler, MBA

Elemental Enzymes

CFO of Elemental Enzymes, Mr. Deadwyler brings over 30 years of financial leadership experience in Ag tech and Pharma.

Hongwu Jia, Ph.D.


Head of Trait Development at KWS, Dr. Jia brings over 15 years of experience focused on trait-related R&D in the seed industry.

Scientific Advisory Board

The Impetus Ag scientific advisory board—with its extensive expertise and authorship of 114 Ag Biotech patents—represents decades of Bt discovery and development. Their work has led to the successful commercialization of topical and transgenic Bt products currently on the market.

James Baum, Ph.D.

Ecogen | Monsanto

Dr. Baum brings 30 years of expertise in plant trait and biological R&D targeting of insect pest species. He held key leadership roles, driving research that included developing cutting-edge strategies that merged insect control and metagenomics, discovering and optimizing insecticidal proteins, and developing RNAi approaches to insect control.

Lyle Crossland, Ph.D.

Monsanto | Bayer

Dr. Crossland has 35 years of recognized leadership in development of biotechnology traits for row crops, with a focus on insect control and herbicide tolerance traits. Most recently he was Head of Weed & Pest Control research in the Plant Biotechnology division at Bayer Crop Science.

Leigh English, Ph.D.

Ecogen | Monsanto

Dr. English brings 30 years of experience, holding key global roles leading programs in protein science, disease control, insect control, and plant protection. He is recognized for his key contributions that led to two important Bt transgenic products Yieldgard Rootworm™ and Yieldgard Vector Pro™.

Thomas Malvar, Ph.D.

Monsanto | Talam Biotech

Currently Chief Scientific Officer at Talam Biotech, Dr. Malvar brings 30+ years of technical and strategic leadership in developing agricultural biotech products for pest control.

Jeffrey Staub, Ph.D.


Dr. Staub, currently CTO at Plastomics, is a co-founder and former Chief Scientist of Impetus Ag, and brings 30+ years of experience in developing novel plant transformation technologies.