About Terra Bioforge

At Terra Bioforge, we’ve built an innovative synthetic biology platform for manufacturing and discovering microbial natural products faster and more cost-efficiently than ever before. Our platform leverages data science, genomics, metabolomics, and proprietary synthetic biology tools enabling biosynthetic pathway reprograming to create highly efficient microbial factories for the discovery and production of natural products. We are targeting biotechnology applications across multiple markets, such as agriculture and pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, antivirals, and anticancer therapeutics.


Terra Bioforge is transforming microbial manufacturing and discovery of natural products. Our mature tools produce and discover natural products at an unparalleled speed and scale to generate better and more accessible products. In short, we are re-envisioning the landscape of natural product development.

Applying Our Platform

Our platform integrates cutting-edge advances in (i) biosynthetic tools, including biosynthetic gene cluster cloning, refactoring, and expression (ii) organism engineering, and (iii) data sciences, which we “fit-to-purpose” for use in the manufacturing and discovery of natural products for a range of industries. Learn more about our scientific approach here.

With our novel proprietary approach, we can dramatically reduce manufacturing costs of existing compounds and discover new ones faster, allowing these compounds to be more affordable and more universally applicable across major markets than those available today. Learn more about partnering opportunities here.

Interested in learning more about Terra Bioforge? Please contact us at Info@terrabioforge.com


The Terra Bioforge team has founded multiple life sciences companies, led corporations through large strategic transactions, and are leaders in synthetic biology of natural products.


David Mead headshotDavid Mead, CEO and Co-Founder;
David is the founder of Lucigen (exited in 2018 to LGC). Dr. Mead is the inventor of TA cloning and has 63 peer-reviewed publications and 11 issued patents. He has a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Illinois.

Matt Robey headshotMatt Robey, CIO;
Matt is a co-creator of Prospect-Fungi. He has a passion for delivering software and analytics solutions to address a wide variety of biotechnology challenges. He has a PhD in Biochemistry from Northwestern University

James La Clair headshotJim La Clair, Acting CSO;
Jim is an accomplished medicinal chemist with more than 20 years experience leading complex projects in chemical synthesis..

John Hecht headshotJohn Hecht, CFO;
John has more than 15 years experience as a corporate CFO. An award-winning community banker and consultant with over 35 years of experience, John brings significant expertise in a vast array of banking services and is a licensed CPA in Wisconsin.



David Mead, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder
Mark Liles, PhD, Co-founder
Kenton Shultis
Andrew Hager
Neil Kelleher, PhD, Co-Founder

Advisory Board

Nancy Keller, PhD, Co-founder
David Dodds, PhD
Claes Gustafsson, PhD


If you want to be a part of an energetic and collaborative team with an impactful mission, join us!

We will have roles open across all areas of the company in the near future.

Email us your CV if you’re interested in joining our team, we would love to hear from you: