Ross Zirkle is Director, Biotechnology Innovation at DSM Nutritional Products in Columbia, MD and currently responsible for leading innovation for DSM’s biotechnology projects and products. Ross had previously led R&D activities focused on developing new and improved strains of microalgae to produce nutritional oils. He joined Martek Biosciences in 2003 and DSM, via acquisition, in 2010. He has served as R&D lead on projects involving microalgae as production platforms for therapeutic proteins, biofuel and omega-3 rich oils. Prior to joining Martek Biosciences, he was a Research Scientist at Novartis/Syngenta in Research Triangle Park, NC. His research centered on production of bioactive secondary metabolites and polyketide biosynthesis. Ross earned his Bachelor and Master of Science in biochemistry and microbiology from Virginia Tech and his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.