Edison Agrosciences

Origin: NC | Grant Awarded: 2019 | Status: Active

Visit Website →

What is Edison Agrosciences?

Edison Agrosciences uses standard biotechnology to make natural rubber – from sunflower. Natural rubber is used in thousands of products because it has properties that can’t be matched with synthetic materials, but the supply is at risk – 90% comes from one geography and all comes from a single plant species. And just like in Brazil in the early 1900’s, disease is starting to set in. At Edison, we’re increasing the amount of natural rubber already produced by the sunflower plant to provide a more profitable crop for farmers and a reliable domestic supply of a critical resource.

Company Leadership

Thomas Hohn

co-founder & Scientific Advisor

Tom has 30 years of leadership experience in the development and commercialization of agricultural biotechnology products. He is a recognized expert in the biosynthesis of plant/fungal isoprenoid products with 65 publications and patents. Prior to co-founding Edison Agrosciences, he was responsible for R&D portfolio development in the Agricultural Biotechnology Division of Intrexon Corporation, a major synthetic biology company. Before joining Intrexon, he founded Dorsan Biofuels, Inc. and participated in its sale to Novozymes. At Dorsan Biofuels, he helped raise seed funding and led a metabolic engineering project for the development of a fungal isoprenoid production platform. In the 11 years prior, Tom was at Syngenta and one of its legacy companies where he held various technical, regulatory, and business development roles. While Director of Disease Control Traits, he led the development of crop disease traits based on the genetic engineering of plant immunity to pathogen-produced toxins. Before joining Syngenta, as a Research Scientist at the USDA – Agricultural Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Tom authored the first published report for a cloned terpene synthase gene from any source. He also cloned and characterized the key genetic and metabolic regulatory factors responsible for a fungal isoprenoid toxin pathway. He holds a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Central Michigan University and Ph.D. in Microbiology from Washington State University.

Connect on LinkedIn →

David Woodburn


David founded bio-Growth, LLC, to help life science companies and their investors with corporate development, new market assessment, and business planning, which is what he did as CEO of Blue Prairie Brands and Vice President of Finance & Development at Chromatin, Inc. Prior to this, David was a sell-side research analyst for 10 years, most recently publishing investment research on companies in the areas of alternative fuels and water technology for boutique investment bank ThinkEquity. Earlier, David provided research coverage of Specialty/Generic Pharma and Global Pharma for Prudential’s institutional equity business, being named in the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Street survey and frequently being quoted by Barrons, Reuters, Dow Jones, The New York Times, the Boston Globe, and others. David’s eleven years of healthcare industry experience include corporate strategy and merger integration at Searle Pharmaceuticals, and product design, global marketing, and business development within various divisions of Baxter Healthcare. David remains a co-owner of a Midwestern grain farm, Maplewood Farm, LLC. David is a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Connect on LinkedIn →

Involved Industries

Be a Part of the Movement

We champion extraordinary entrepreneurs to create positive change – for St. Louis and for the world. Join us by applying to our Global Startup Competition, becoming a financial supporter, volunteering your time or amplifying our message.