Co-Founder and President
Louis Metzger believes that the precise engineering of biology will enable a coming revolution in how humans live, work, and interact with our planet. Inspired by his undergraduate research in the computational modeling of protein-small molecule interactions, Louis earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Duke University, where his work lay at the intersection of enzymology, lipid biochemistry, and bacterial membrane biogenesis. He subsequently performed postdoctoral research at UCSF, where he employed protein X-ray crystallography to study enzymes’ structures and functions. Louis then joined Novartis (2012-18), where he spent six years developing technologies in protein chemistry and contributing to therapeutic projects in diverse disease areas. In addition to founding and leading an antibacterial discovery team, Louis served on an outward-facing Novartis search and evaluation task force, a role which sparked his enthusiasm for the Bay Area’s vibrant biotechnology ecosystem. Since 2018, he has served as Chief Scientific Officer of Tierra Biosciences (formerly Synvitrobio, Inc.), building a cell-free platform with which to bio-prospect in nature for novel chemical matter.
Louis is an avid student of history, and takes particular interest in how societies’ Hallin’s Spheres shift as a result of unforeseen events. He passionately advocates reforming educational methods and structures, especially in the sciences. He supports anything which fosters — rather than selects against — cognitive diversity in science.