Serving as CGO, Andrea drives the commercial development process with customers focused on the introduction of novel formulations and ingredients involving both major and emerging cannabinoids, as well as product lines containing a full spectrum or specific phytocannabinoid ratios that are 100% THC free. She is the key liaison between customers, industry and academic research collaborators, and PPM’s R&D and product development teams. She also leads PPM’s marketing initiatives and relationship building with hemp industry companies and regulatory agencies. She is motivated to change each person’s world for the better and do so in each interaction, as well as with products created with scientific innovation. Pushing all team members at PPM to higher levels is one of Andrea’s superpowers which in turn helps PPM bring its customers and end-use consumers the benefits of new and efficacious cannabinoid-based products.
Dr. Andrea Holmes received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry at New York University and was a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral Fellow at Columbia University in the Department of Chemistry and Columbia Medical College, College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. She is a Professor of Chemistry at Doane University in Nebraska and holds appointments at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award that was funded by the National Science Foundation and a national recipient of Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar award. Andrea published over 60 articles on nano-structured materials, miniaturized sensors, surface modifications for antimicrobial resistance, and has developed colorimetric sensors to detect warfare agents, abused narcotics, and cannabinoids.
Malik NishonovPh.D - Senior Research & Development Chemist
Malik Nishonov received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry and chemistry of natural products from the Institute of the Chemistry of Plant Substances at the Sciences Academy of Uzbekistan. At PPM, Malik works on isolating and purifying cannabinoids as a highly experienced researcher in medicinal plant chemistry. He is advancing canna science by inventing techniques to isolate minor cannabinoids, including CBN, as well as formulating whole plant-based products with specific profiles. He contributes to the R&D team’s continuous improvement of PPM’s proprietary, scalable methods to remediate THC from hemp-derived full spectrum oils and distillates for those customers who require a THC-free, whole plant product.
At the Science Academy, Malik Nishonov isolated and elucidated the chemical structures of twenty novel alkaloids, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and phenol compounds. He held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Drug Discovery of the University of Georgia and conducted research on projects targeted DNA and RNA viruses. This work led to important discoveries of highly specific HIV Integrase inhibitors that are granted by US and World patent offices.
Malik received the Outstanding Research Award from the Academic Council of the Institute of Chemistry of Plant Substances. He has published over thirty scientific peer-reviewed journal articles, holds two patents, and has established himself as a renowned speaker in the international scientific landscape.
David SymonsbergenChief Science Officer
Serving as CSO, David leads PPM’s science “factory” that is inspired by the philosophy of Edison’s original industrial research lab. Dave executes PPM’s research and development equivalent to other world-renowned, science advancing chemistry, and pharmaceutical research institutions. Taking innovation to commercialization through process and scale development is also Dave’s forte and responsibility. He leads inquiry into PPM’s scientific and customer-specific research work to increase bioavailability and enhancing terpenes, terpenoid and flavonoid profiles. His background in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry provides the foundation for advancing both isolation and purification of unique cannabinoid ratios that become ingredients in novel hemp-derived phytocannabinoid products.
A former medicinal chemist and top producer at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Dave’s understanding of both pharmacokinetics and bioavailability contribute to PPM’s ever-expanding product line. The PPM company principles of safety, efficacy, quality and consistency are foremost priorities in Dave’s scientific approach. Dave earned a Masters in Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the University of Nebraska and has worked for several companies including Novartis and Rieke Metals. David most recently founded and served as the CEO at Novel Chemical Solutions. He is tireless, creative, a first principal thinker,continuously experimenting, and discovering innovative techniques and methodologies to enhance PPM’s proprietary processes so they meet the exacting standards of both PPM customers and the people whose quality of life is improved by non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids.
Jonathan WaldorfAnalytical Chemistry Lab Manager
Jonathan is an analytical chemist with 20 years of experience. At PPM, he is responsible for all analytical laboratory operations and hires, trains and manages all lab technicians. He ensures that the HPLC and GC/FID/MS instruments are properly maintained, performs quality control procedures, and conducts both internal and external validations. Jonathan’s analytical lab operates 24×7 to support all PPM R&D and production activity. Most importantly, he makes sure that the PPM analytics are world-class and that PPM technicians conduct each and every analysis with accuracy, reproducibility, and consistency. Jonathan’s expertise has significantly contributed to PPM’s intensive process controls, research and development successes, and optimization of production processes.
Jonathan received his BS degree in Biology at Georgia Southern University. Since 1999, he has held high-level positions in industry where he supervised over 75 employees conducting testing for highly sophisticated and exacting customers, including the DOE, DOD, and EPA. Jonathan and the technician teams he managed used a plethora of analytical instruments and techniques, including LCMS, HPLC, GCMS, ICPMS, Hg analyzers, and other analysis equipment. His competence in volatile and semi-volatile analysis is extremely important for chemical profiling of PPM’s hemp biomass and extracts.
Steve KazemiChief Operating Officer
Serving as COO, Steve executes PPM’s strategy of becoming the leading non-psychotropic cannabinoid-based ingredient supplier globally. He delivers results through his engaged leadership style and creative insight. His depth of experience, keen operational oversight, and dedication to advancing PPM’s science-based approach to extraction, refinement and purification provides him with great fulfillment knowing he is contributing to humankind by getting the most out of the complex cannabis plant to help people improve the quality of their lives.
Steve, a decisive and resolute leader, has over 20+ years of executive operational experience and demonstrated expertise in the development, management and positioning of complex manufacturing and production facilities in the dietary supplement industry. Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of New Mexico and served as the principal partner for Pure Cultures, strategically developing its business model to provide distributors with high-quality probiotic options, and silage inoculants from concept to shelf. Previously, he worked at other microbiome and plant-based science-based companies in the Colorado biotechnology community including Hauser Chemical Research manufacturing the Taxol chemotherapy drug and Nutraceutix.
Luping YanPh.D - Senior Chemistry and Plant Medicine Advisor
Dr. Luping Yan trained extensively in pharmacognosy and natural products then gained experience in food, supplements, and agricultural industries focused on plant-based medicinal and nutraceutical research and product innovation. He is a critical contributor to the PPM R&D efforts. Luping’s specific qualifications in purification techniques and molecular structure characterization allow him to lead several of PPM’s minor cannabinoid isolation and purification projects.
Dr. Yan earned a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of British Columbia, a Master’s in Medicinal Chemistry (Natural Products) from West China College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sichuan University, China, and conducted post-doctoral research at Essa Pharma in Vancouver and Houston, where he synthesized natural products with high bioactivity. At Kemin Industries in Iowa, Luping’s work led to a series of novel marigold extractions, saponifications, and filtrations that positioned the company as a global leader in that segment. At Vega, the Danone sports nutrition subsidiary, he worked with product and method development, as well as labeling and regulatory affairs teams. Luping has a track record of creatively overcoming challenges associated with the complexity of purifying therapeutic compounds and medicinal drugs obtained from plants and other natural sources. With over ten years of experience in academia and industry, Dr. Yan is a passionate scientist who inspires PPM’s R&D team on a daily basis with his insights, optimism and leadership.
Serving as working Chairman, David’s primary responsibility is to provide the environment and resources for PPM’s scientists to advance the science of non-psychotropic cannabinoids. David also fosters strategic relationships with industry-leading growers, seed and genetics labs, researchers, and other hemp-based businesses. David views PPM as a transformative company which brings together a world-class group of employees who share PPM’s vision of improving health with new, distinctive, traceable, safe, consistent, and bioavailable plant-based wellness ingredients for the supply chains of consumer products companies.
David has been involved in corporate management and financing for over three decades in a wide variety of industries both in the private equity and venture capital worlds. He has also served in leadership roles at high growth businesses, both on an interim and permanent basis. David has been a lead board member on numerous private company and non-profit boards for enterprises with sales of $1 million to over $1 billion. David is a founding partner of Lynwood Capital Partners and has a dual degree from Yale University in economics and mechanical engineering.