Leadership Team & Advisors
Investors & Supporters
Core Values

Founders and Management

Paul Horst – Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Horst has both a B.S.E. (Chemical Engineering) and M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He brings over 35 years of experience in executive management of technology ventures. His initial professional experience was as an environmental consulting engineer. He was a founder and CEO of Nematron Corporation which pioneered computer based ruggedized operator displays for industrial and process control. Nematron was acquired by a public company and subsequently spun-off as an independent publicly traded company.

Mr. Horst was President DTE Energy Technologies, a subsidiary of DTE Energy engaged in distributed generation and alternative energy. In 5 years, the business developed international joint ventures, numerous acquisitions and worldwide sales. At the same time, he served as a Director of several related subsidiaries and investments by DTE Energy. Mr. Horst was engaged in the drafting of the enabling legislation for NextEnergy, the state of Michigan alternative energy business incubator and served on the advisory board during its creation.

Mr. Horst has been a lecturer on Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, and a member of the Alumni Board for the Department of Chemical Engineering. He received the 2010 Alumni Society Medal of Merit award in Chemical Engineering for the University of Michigan.

Geoff Horst – Chief Science Officer

Mr. Geoff Horst received his B.S. with Honors in Oceanography from the University of Michigan, with research and thesis analyzing processes affecting water quality. His M.S. in Biology from California State University included research in the Caribbean and South Pacific. He completed his Ph.D. at Michigan State University in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior. The past 7 years of research and his dissertation has been on the nutrient physiology of toxic algal blooms. In addition to his research roles at these universities, his experience includes research at Shoals Marine Laboratory in Maine.

He has been an instructor at Michigan State University on resource ecology and limnology and a guest lecturer on marine Ecosystem Management, Advanced Limnology, and Limnology, Ecology, Law and Economics. He has multiple publications, and received honors at the University of Michigan and California State University.

As a result of his expertise in algal phycology, he developed the concepts leading to the company's issued patent on our Hypertrophic™ process. His principal role within the company is to lead the research and development relating to algal biology, specifically the use of algae for nutrient remediation, the treatment techniques, and the reduction of the algal/water solution into the primary biomass components. He also leads our laboratory and the pilot production staff in the production of beta glucan.

Robert Levine – Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Levine received a B.A. with Highest Honors in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Middlebury College and a Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan in the laboratory of Dr. Phillip Savage. His research focuses on processing techniques for algal biomass to simultaneously harvest algae and produce biofuels. Previously his research in the Spatafora Laboratory at Middlebury College included the investigation of promising algae species for their use in wastewater treatment and biodiesel production, and the development of a photobioreactor for high-yield algae production and prototype testing. As an undergraduate researcher at the Angenent Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, he participated in research involving microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and wastewater treatment with anaerobic digestion.

He has been the recipient of numerous grants and honors, and has several publications and conference presentations relating to algae and wastewater treatment.

His principal role has included working with our external advisors to optimize our process for the sterile production of beta glucan, leading our research on the process recipe and media formulation, and product development of our Algamune product line and future beta glucan derived products. Mr. Levine also is responsible for working with leading university and industry research partners in conducting trials demonstrating the efficacy and safety of our products.

Jeff LeBrun – VP Product Management

Mr. LeBrun brings experience in biology, product development, intellectual property management and technology startup management. Mr. LeBrun spent over two years at a technology startup where he created business materials and product development strategies used to raise over $15M in venture capital and venture debt.

He was a member of the team managing the University of Michigan’s Wolverine Venture Fund and was recognized as the Weiser family "Cause-based entrepreneur of the year". He worked for the world's largest natural resources company, BHP Billiton, on five different continents to analyze, model and deploy new environmental technologies. Prior to graduate school he worked as a scientific and regulatory consultant to the water resources industry at RH2 Engineering.

Jeff has a B.S. with Honors in Biology from the University of Puget Sound, and M.S. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Michigan.

His principal role in product management is to work with industry experts and thought leaders, as well as our channel partners and customers to develop the applications and specifications for our products. In this role he leads our commercial business development. In addition, a key role has been to manage our intellectual property including drafting patents and working with our corporate IP counsel. Further, he leads the company’s regulatory activities and relationships with our external regulatory advisors.

Craig Banotai – Principal Scientist, Fermentation Technologies

Mr. Banotai brings over twenty years of experience in microbiology and fermentation. He spent 12 years, ending as a Senior Scientist, at Pfizer Global Research and Development in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was responsible expression development relating to production of over 500 proteins to support internal Pfizer projects in antibacterial, inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular, central nervous system and dermatology programs.

As the head of the Ann Arbor fermentation facility he was responsible for the design and engineering requirements for both the fermentation and bioreactor labs set up, and supervision and development of all full-time employees, contractors and interns.

Subsequent to his work at Pfizer, he was a Principal Scientist at Draths Corporation (now part of Amyris), responsible for expression development and large-scale production of enzymes.

His role at Algal Scientific is to directly lead our efforts and the team in the process development and production of beta-1,3 glucan. He has a B.S. in Microbiology and Public Health, and an M.S. in Immunotoxicology, both from Michigan State University.

James Bleyer – Engineering Management

Mr. Bleyer has over 20 years of experience in engineering and engineering management. His career includes over 15 years at BOC Gases, and later at Airgas, where he began as a project engineer and became business unit managers.

At SSOE Engineering, he was project manager for bio-fuels, and managed teams of engineers through the design of ethanol and bio-diesel plants. Subsequently he was the engineering manager at Greater Ohio Ethanol, in Lima, Ohio, where he was responsible for and supervised construction staff, contractors and budgets, as well as process improvements.

As the principle at Green Castle Energy, he has been a consultant to the bio-fuels industry, developed patent pending technology for cellulosic ethanol production, and been responsible for operations, process design and pilot operations.

James is responsible for the design, equipment selection, procurement and operational oversight for both Algal’s water treatment and beta glucan production. In this role, he also has the lead in establishing and monitoring policies and functions relating to environmental health and safety. His B.S. in Mechanical Engineering is from the University of Notre Dame.

James Fahrner – Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Fahrner is a seasoned financial executive with 35 years of experience at both public and private enterprises. He has held positions as Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Controller, Financial Reporting Manager and Audit Manager for Tier One automotive and other private and publicly traded high technology manufacturers. He has been responsible for establishing accounting practices and controls for multi-division and multiple location businesses and was responsible for establishing procedures and policies for compliance under Sarbanes Oxley at DTE Energy Technologies. Mr. Fahrner has a B.S. in Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University. He is a Certified Public Accountant, and member of the AICPA and MACPA organizations.

Key External Advisors

Paul S. Satoh, PhD – Technical Advisor

Dr. Satoh received his PhD in Biochemistry from Wayne State University in 1964 and worked in academia for several years. He worked in Upjohn Company, a pharmaceutical company in Kalamazoo, MI from 1972 to 1998 in both research and management. After retirement from Upjohn Company, he was a Vice President for Basic and Exploratory Research at Neogen Corporation, Lansing MI until 2009. His expertise includes protein chemistry, immunology, analytical instrument design and diagnostic product development. Dr. Satoh has been an adjunct professor of chemical engineering in Michigan State University since 2005. He holds 6 patents; published 45 articles in peer review journals, 3 book chapters, 26 presentations and 95 non-peer reviewed publications and company technical reports.

Dr. Satoh is currently studying in Eli Broad Graduate School of Management pursuing Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. (Expected graduation: May 3, 2013) He is bilingual in English and Japanese languages. He is a naturalized US citizen (1974).

Walter J. Weber, Jr. P.E., D.E.E., N.A.E. – Technical Advisor

Dr. Weber is Professor Emeritus of Environmental and Ecological Sciences and Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, at the University of Michigan and has been among the top ten most cited scientists in America; Dr. Weber received his Ph.D. in Water Resources Engineering from Harvard University. [more]

S. Joh Kang – P.E. – Technical Advisor

Dr. Kang is a wastewater treatment engineer with over 30 years of experience in technical leadership and project management. As Vice President and Director of Water at Tetra Tech, he oversees the full scope of services in wastewater infrastructure. Nutrient removal is one of his areas of specialty. Tetra Tech is the leading North American consulting firm in water treatment. His B.S.E. Civil Engineering is from Seoul National University, his M.S. Sanitary Engineering from, Georgia Institute of Technology, and he earned his Ph.D. in Civil/Environmental Engineering at University of Michigan. [more]

Mike Maringer – Technical Advisor

Mr. Maringer brings over 30 years of experience managing 15 million gallon per day water and 10 million gallon per day wastewater treatment facilities at Campbell Soup Company's largest manufacturing plant. Mr. Maringer holds the highest classifications as an Operator in the states of Ohio and Indiana. He is a Certified Laboratory operator. He earned a B.A. from Northern Kentucky University, a B.S. in Natural Systems/Hydro-Geology from Defiance College, and completed the Management Program for Water & Wastewater Treatment Operations at Michigan State University.

Mr. Maringer's reputation and industry contacts are invaluable to the company and has generated many of the initial pilot and demonstration plant project opportunities. He is engaged with Industrial Fluid Management (IFM Enviro) which has been a consultant on system designs for the company.