Team

Yiannis Kaznessis, PhD
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Kaznessis is the founder of General Probiotics. He joined the company as Chief Executive Officer in 2017.

Dr. Kaznessis received a diploma in chemical engineering at the Aristotle University in Greece in 1994, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 1999. He completed postdoctoral research at Pfizer Global R&D, and at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Kaznessis is a world expert in synthetic biology and antimicrobial technologies.

In 2001, Kaznessis joined the faculty in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota as an assistant professor. He was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2007 and to full professor in 2011. He directed the Bioinformatics Summer Institute from 2004 to 2011. He served as Director of Graduate Studies from 2010 to 2017. Dr. Kaznessis mentored 15 Ph.D. students, six M.S. students and 12 postdoctoral fellows. He has authored more than 110 refereed papers and the textbook “Statistical Thermodynamics and Stochastic Kinetics.” He raised over $7M in research funds and was the recipient of several honors including the Fulbright Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the 3M non-tenured Faculty Award, the IBM Young Faculty Award, the Charles E. Bowers Teaching Award and the AIChE CAST Outstanding Young Researcher Award.

 

Mary Whalen
Chief Financial Officer

Mary Whalen worked with Accenture for over twenty five years.  She worked with both domestic and international organizations across industries including healthcare, finance, consumer products, government, transportation, communications, and mortgage banking industries.  She was consistently called upon to bring focus to programs and dramatically increase the capability, profitability and efficiency of organizations.  She effectively assumes leadership and management responsibility to consistently deliver strategic projects on schedule and within budget to meet / exceed business goals and objectives, quality standards and client expectations. Mary has effectively managed project budgets up to $30M and ensured timely completion of short-term and long-term schedules. She has led projects for all phases of information systems development life cycle from concept, analysis and design through development, testing, training, deployment, and production support, maintenance. She has successfully built and directed teams of up to 200 technical and business professionals across the globe.

 

Kathryn Geldart, PhD
Senior Engineer

Kathryn Geldart is a chemical engineer with expertise in in genetic engineering, bacteriocin production pathways, and animal infection models.  Prior to joining GP, Kathryn developed advanced probiotics for four years at the University of Minnesota in the lab of Yiannis Kaznessis. As senior engineer, she directs much of the the design, assembly, and testing of new probiotic systems. Kathryn earned her PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 2016 and her BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2012. Throughout her academic career she received numerous awards including the 2013 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the 2016 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, the 2015 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship, and the 2014 Outstanding TA Award.  She has published four peer-reviewed papers and is a co-inventor on a patent application through the  University of Minnesota.

 

Dimitri Sidiropoulos, B.Sc.
Scientist

Dimitri Sidiropoulos earned a B.S in Biochemistry and a B.S in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2017. At GP, he designs and tests synthetic genetic constructs and conducts bioinformatic analyses. Prior to joining GP he was a researcher at the University of Minnesota Biotechnology Institute for three years in Dr. Dan Knights’ Lab leading projects in gnotobiotic mice models. He is an expert in microbiology, molecular biology and controlled animal experiments.

 

Sam Morris, B.Sc.
Scientist

Sam Morris earned a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining GP, he spent two years working in Dr. Timothy Hoover’s lab studying membrane transport systems related to the flagellar biosynthesis of Helicobacter pylori. He is well versed in microbe physiology and regulation of microbial genes.

 

 

Suzy Houser, B.A.

Laboratory Technician

Suzy Houser earned a B.A. in Biology in May 2019 from Macalester College where she was a member of Tri Beta, the national biological honor society, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. During her time in college, she explored many fields of biology, including a semester studying genetic conservation in Costa Rica and a summer working in Dr. Jennifer DeLuca’s lab at Colorado State University investigating protein functions at the kinetochore during mitosis. She is proficient in immunofluorescence, in vitro biochemical assays, and creating and running protein gels.