We are excited to welcome David Melis to Shiru as Director of Fermentation.

With his specialized skills and proven expertise in fermentation process development and scale-up, David will play a vital role in realizing Shiru’s mission – to feed people sustainably by identifying and creating ideal food proteins using machine learning and precision biology.

David Melis received his B.A. in Chemistry from Willamette University, Salem, Oregon. David brings over 15 years of fermentation experience to Shiru, most recently serving as Director of Portfolio Development at Lygos, a synthetic biology company focused on creating sustainable chemicals for various industrial applications. Shiru will leverage David’s extensive experience in developing and optimizing fermentation processes, managing fermentation development teams, and scaling industrial processes to very high levels.

Prior to Lygos, David was an early team member at Amyris Biotechnologies, where he gained valuable knowledge of synthetic biology and mastered the use of fermentation to advance innovations in industrial biotechnology. At Amyris, he worked with world renowned scientists and played a major role in developing commercially relevant fermentation processes for a wide range of products. Hired by Lygos in 2013 to build out and develop its fermentation platform, he quickly brought the company’s technology from the bench to commercial levels. During his time, he successfully scaled processes from milliliters up to 400,000 liters, producing over metric-ton quantities of multiple products in a range of microbial and fungal hosts.

“I can’t wait to get started! Using fermentation, you can take an idea from the lab and transform it into a product for solving a major real world problem. There is nothing more exciting than making the first kilogram of a product! Shiru has the technology and the team to revolutionize how we think about food, and I am thrilled to be part of this important work.”

Outside of the lab, David enjoys experimenting in his home kitchen. A compulsive cookbook collector, he enjoys exploring and learning about new foods and new culinary techniques. From fermenting miso paste to pickling vegetables in the hallway outside his apartment, there is usually something bubbling within arm’s reach. When he is not fermenting, David can be found hiking the East Bay parks with at least one Polaroid camera in hand.