Team Member Spotlight / Carte Blanche September 1, 2017
Christopher M. DaCunha holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). While matriculating, he managed a start-up laboratory working on bacterial biopolymer research for encapsulation and remediation systems. He went on to manage WPI’s Bioprocess Laboratory leading contract manufacturing projects in pharmaceutical R&D, process design, protein purification, heavy metal recovery, prototype design for bioreactors and chromatography columns, process scaling, and biotechnology education programs. He oversaw the design and construction of a new Bioprocess Facility at WPI’s Bioengineering Institute. He then worked in the biofuels industry as Senior R&D Scientist-bioengineer in the genetics, biochemistry, and pilot plant programs at EdenIQ, where he developed various genetic tools, methods for recombinant protein expression, and in-situ ethanol yield improvements. Mr. DaCunha then founded and was CTO for Universal Bio Mining, a World Economic Forum technology pioneer, developing metal extraction and remediation technologies. He currently works as Sr. Manager for Bioprocess Development at Indigo, another WEF Technology Pioneer company, directing fermentation and process strategies with many novel organisms for use in agriculture. He also assisted in designing multiple new lab spaces during Indigo’s rapid growth.
An avid brewer, cheesemaker, gardener, sailor and outdoorsman, he takes an active role in various science education programs. He has judged CCSF’s Bridge to Biotech 2011 Poster competition, the iGEM 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2017 World and Regional Championships at MIT and Stanford, and the 2012 Bay Area BioGENEius competition at the Gladstone Institute. He speaks annually at the Boston Fermentation Festival on various topics promoting fermentation to the public.