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 the Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar award. Andrea has published over 60 articles on nano-structured materials, miniaturized sensors, and surface modifications for antimicrobial resistance, and has developed colorimetric sensors to detect warfare agents, abused narcotics, and cannabinoids.
Reza Zahedi, Ph.DChief Engineering, Development and Operations Officer
Reza Zahedi, PhD, serves as Director of Engineering. He is a proven professional and contributor to PPM’s innovation, scale up, application of advanced technologies to improve quality and consistency, and the commercialization of novel cannabinoid-based ingredients for the global customers that PPM serves. Whether (i) evaluating and deploying manufacturing processes and leading teams to continuously improve them; (ii) managing scale up and production capacity expansions; (iii) working with customers to design tailored solutions; or (iv) optimizing and at the same time “removing Murphy from the production equation” with processes, systems and company culture, Reza’s impact is 24×7.
Reza earned a BS and MS – Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, the “MIT” of Iran, and a PhD at Shiraz University and the University of Waterloo, Shiraz-Waterloo, Iran-Canada. He has served as a Research Assistance Professor at Razi University in Kermanshah, Iran,as well as Associate Professor at UTM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and at Missouri S&T, in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department in Rolla, MO. Of note, he is a published author on supercritical fluid extraction, having researched, optimized and scaled extraction with various plant inputs and botanical seed oils. Since leaving academia, Reza has worked in a variety of industries while employed at engineering consultancies and most recently at a food science and manufacturing company serving a global customer base from two US-based facilities.
Jonathan MartinSenior Research Chemist
Jonathan Martin is a research and development chemist specializing in cannabinoids, organic synthesis, and the scaling of API manufacturing. Jonathan has experience with cGMP compliance, readiness preparation for FDA/DEA visits, and large scale process development. At PPM, Jonathan works to improve and develop new processes and optimization of manufacturing of minor cannabinoids with advanced isolation and purification techniques as well as distillation and crystallization methods. In addition to his specialty pharmaceutical company experience developing and commercializing innovative drugs using novel drug delivery systems for therapeutic molecules, Jonathan has specialty biopharma experience working with engineered toxin bodies to treat different forms of cancers. His work involved conducting large scale fermentations followed by protein purification of the toxin bodies.
Jonathan earned a BS in chemistry from Southwestern University and conducted research to elucidate the mechanism of titanium species catalyzed organometallic reactions. This research involved conducting synthesis using different reagents to eliminate mechanistic possibilities, purifying products using different techniques, and using H-NMR to determine structures. Prior to joining PPM, Jonathan was a key member of the cannabinoids research and development team at InSys.
Hannah RossAnalytical Lab Manager
Hannah Ross leads PPM’s analytical group as Lab Manager. She has proven to be an all-around talent, both as a manager and technician. On a daily basis, she demonstrates her highly trained ability to establish methods and standards and improve them. She manages all dimensions of the analytical process in support of PPM’s business, a daily challenge which she organizes smoothly and accurately in triaging a high volume of time-sensitive sampling and testing for both process control and QA/QC purposes, as well as R&D. As Lab Manager, her responsibilities include honing SOPs and managing the analytical team. Notably, she and her team have achieved a consistent +99% uptime. Her expertise was gained by her experience at several laboratories including one on the medicinal marijuana side of the regulatory fence.
Hannah earned a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Biology at Florida State University – Tallahassee, FL. In the still young industry of testing cannabinoids and the hemp plant’s complex oil matrix, whether in crude oil, distillate, concentrate, or isolate form where margins of error, repeatability and reproducibility, and general knowledge is still being refined, Hannah has significantly increased PPM’s analytical group’s HPLC and GCMS performance in each of these areas.
Tyrone Ferns, Ph.DPrincipal Scientist
Tyrone Ferns, Ph.D serves as PPM’s principal scientist and is involved in research and process development activities – semisynthetic, biosynthetic or total synthesis of naturally occurring cannabinoids, processing hemp plant oil; separation, isolation, purification of hemp-derived cannabinoids, and final product formulation.
Ty manages people, processes, and projects for PPM. His pharmaceutical, synthesis and purification, and academic experiences and high bandwidth allow him to mentor members of the PPM team, helping young professionals become both effective as well as efficient. Whether it is innovating and scaling complex, multi-step processing, chromatography, optimization, or continuous improvement initiatives, or instituting systems and processes, he always exceeds expectations. Normal and reverse phase chromatography and characterization with HPLC, LC/MS and NMR are all tools of his trade of which he is a master. He is a highly experienced organic and medicinal chemist who has a record of success generating compounds for SAR through idea generation, design, research, multi-step synthesis, purification and characterization.
Ty’s pharmaceutical private sector career spans research chemistry, analytics and contract manufacturing of APIs for multiple clients at Allylix (biotechnological and chemoenzymatic production of commercially relevant sesquiterpenes for the flavor and fragrance industry), Ciris Energy (analytical chemistry in support of R&D and QC for the conversion of biomass to commodity chemicals), and most recently in a group leader role at Corden Pharma – Boulder, CO (CDMO, development and manufacture of chemically synthesized APIs). His industry experience is deep, from DoE through development and manufacturing scale up (1 kg to 10 MT), including authoring CMC documents, regulatory filings, SOPs, validations, events, deviations, CAPAs, etc.
Ty earned a BS in Chemistry and Biochemistry and a Ph.D in Chemistry from Florida Atlantic University. He also served there as a Biomedical Science Post Doctorial Fellow for three years. Specifically, Ty isolated and characterized natural products from crude extracts using various methodologies ranging from flash chromatography to Fourier transfer infrared spectroscopy and a wide array of nuclear magnetic resonance technologies (1H, 13C, COSY, NOESY, DEPT, HMBC and HSQC). Related to his research, presentations, and publications, he synthesized putative radiolabeled precursors in pseudoptersin biosynthesis. Post Doc work involved designing therapeutic agents against disease processes linked to excess matrix metalloproteinase activities with arthritis, cancer and atherosclerosis. He is a goal-oriented pharmaceutical synthetic chemist and operations professional, knowledgeable in drug discovery design, laboratory operations including large scale cGMP, statistical and data analysis and project management.
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.