Miami, Florida -- June 9, 2010 (http://www.myprgenie.com) -- Beeologics, a biotechnology company focused on development of Ribonucleic Acid interference (RNAi) products for honeybee health and various veterinary and agricultural applications, announced today that Dr. Craig C. Mello has joined the company's Technology Advisory Board. In 2006, Dr. Mello was awarded The Nobel Prize in Medicine for discoveries related to RNA interference.
Dr. Mello, along with his colleague, Dr. Andrew Fire, discovered the process by which a particular form of RNA, the cellular material responsible for the transmission of genetic information, can silence targeted genes. This RNAi process offers newly charted and highly potent methods to specifically treat human and animal disease. RNAi is now the state-of-the-art method by which scientists can "knock out" the expression of specific genes to define the biological functions of those genes. Just as important is the finding that RNAi is a normal naturally occurring process of genetic regulation that takes place during development, opening a new window on developmental gene regulation. Dr. Mello brings an expanded knowledge base to Beeologics and will advise the company, facilitating accelerated expansion of its RNAi applications.
"I'm very excited to join the advisory team for Beeologics. The company is at the forefront of applying RNA interference technology for the control of pathogens that affect social insects," said Dr. Mello. "Beeologics could very well be the first company to obtain FDA approval for an RNAi therapy. It's an exciting time to be joining the team as the company explores broader applications for RNAi in targeted pest control."
Dr. Mello earned his B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry from Brown University in 1982, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1990. From 1990 to 1994, he conducted postdoctoral research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Dr. Mello is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Blais University Chair in Molecular Medicine and Co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
"We are thrilled to have Dr. Mello -- a true leader in the RNAi arena - joining our Technology Advisory Board," said Eyal Ben-Chanoch, CEO of Beeologics. "Dr. Mello shares Beeologics' vision, believes in the work our team is doing and the potential we have to positively impact the health of beneficial insects and therefore the world's food supply. His guidance will help the company best apply our technology to where it can have the most significant influence."
Mello joins an esteemed group of top scientists and industry authorities with diverse experience and talent. As independent leaders in their respective fields, the members of the Beeologics Technology Advisory Board (TAB) act individually as the technology conscience of the company and apply their unique collective perspective to their role as the impartial guiding force of the Beeologics product roadmap. In addition to Dr. Mello, the TAB includes:
- Professor Diana Cox-Foster, Penn State University: One of the most respected virologists and bee health scientists in the United States and part of the CCD working group that addresses Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the global honeybee crisis. Cox-Foster is also the lead author on numerous articles on CCD, including her groundbreaking insight into of the role of viral pathogens in CCD, which was published in Science Magazine in September of 2007.
- Jerry Hayes, Chief Apiary Inspector for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Recognized as one of the country's top bee experts, Hayes certifies the movement of honeybee colonies throughout the state and nation, and monitors them for diseases, pests and invasive species. Hayes is an influential contributing author to many columns in beekeeping magazines, including The Classroom, one of the most popular in the industry.
- Dave Mendes: As one of largest commercial beekeepers in the nation with more than four decades of experience, Mendes manages more than 7,000 colonies utilized mainly for pollination of Maine's blueberry crop, Massachusetts' cranberry crop, California's almonds and other crops along the East coast of the United States. Mendes, serves as the vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) and is considered one of the most knowledgeable professionals in the beekeeping industry.
- Professor Gene E. Robinson, Swalund Chair of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Director of the Neuroscience Program and a Professor of Entomology with affiliate appointments in the Departments of Cell & Developmental Biology and Animal Biology and the Beckman Institute of Science and Technology: Leads a research group that studies the regulation of social behavior - including evolutionary biology, behavior, neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics. In his research, Robinson uses the honeybee as a model for social behavior. Recognized as a leader in the field, Gene assumed the principal role in the Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium that published the bee genome. The consequent research led to the creation of the Robinson Lab in the University of Illinois and a whole new field called Sociogenomics. Robinson is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Beeologics is a biotechnology company that develops unique RNAi technology for agriculture and veterinary applications. The company's multi-disciplinary team is focused on overcoming the significant challenges involved with insects, pest control and invertebrate health. The company exploits the specificity and efficacy of RNAi to develop innovative applications for invertebrates; both as health products for beneficial insects and control products for pests. For more information, visit www.beeologics.com.