Team:

Randall B. Murphy, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Prior to co-founding Cacao Biotech, Dr. Murphy was Vice President for Research and Development at Progenra, Inc., a discovery pharmaceutical company focused upon ubiquitin and deubiquitinases. Prior to that he was was senior vice-president at Medkura Pharmaceuticals and Pharmatech International, both pharmaceutical development companies. From 1978-2000, Dr. Murphy was a tenured faculty member at New York University and an adjunct faculty member at  Cornell University Medical College in chemistry, neuroscience, and biological psychiatry. Beginning in 2000, he became active as an entrepreneur in the biotechnology/biopharmaceuticals industry, having co-founded several companies, including Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN), Marinus Pharmaceuticals, a private specialty pharmaceutical company which raised more than $70 million in venture financing, and Epalex, Inc. a development-stage biopharmaceutical company in the neurology arena. Dr. Murphy is an expert in discovery medicinal chemistry and early to late-stage pharmaceutical development. He is the youngest graduate of the University of Southern California and is a recipient of the Presidential Fellowship from New York University. Dr. Murphy holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of more than 180 research publications and is an inventor on 15 issued patents.

 

Francis Stefani, Ph.D.

Head Research Scientist       

Dr. Stefani has 30 years of wide ranging theoretical, experimental, industrial and teaching experience in material science, applied physics, electromagnetics and chemistry. He has been a research scientist at the University of Texas, Austin, for over 15 years. From 1998 to 2003 Dr. Stefani was team leader of the EM launcher group at the Institute for Advanced Technology. He has continued at UT where he is a principal investigator on projects that range from a novel Fluid Shear pasteurization process (with application to reduction of pathogens in raw Cacao), to an AFOSR-funded program to study fundamental interactions between plasmas and materials for electric space propulsion. Earlier in his career, Dr. Stefani played a key role in the successful effort by Westinghouse to re-enter the U.S. and international fusion programs.  He performed structural and thermal-hydraulic analyses of various first wall and divertor concepts for ITER magnetic fusion program and co-managed the industrial portion of a Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory program to develop drivers for heavy ion fusion (ELISE program). Dr. Stefani has been acknowledged with several awards including the IEEE Peter Mark Medal in recognition of contributions to the science of EM launchers. He has over 80 papers in internationally respected publications, and is a reviewer for two key IEEE journals. Professional Memberships include the Sigma Xi, American Physical Society, and the American Association of Physics Teachers. He has contributed to numerous IP portfolios and is the inventor on a often cited patent.

 

D. C. "Wilson" Lytle 

Director of Analytical and Production

Mr. Lytle is an analytical and production chemist with 25 years in the food and dietary supplement industries focusing on natural products. He has built and owned laboratory and production facilities in several States. Mr. Lytle has worked for over 10 companies, and consulted for more than a dozen and is well respected in the industry for taking herbal products from the forest, farm, and field, through the analytical lab to the factory floor. 

Mr. Lytle has studied at industry and educational institutions including: AOAC; AHAP; AHP; ACPE; Camag Scientific; and the University of California, Davis. Professional education includes: Training for Microbiological Control and Validation; Defining of Current GMP for Pharmaceutical and Allied Industries; Writing of Standard Operating Procedures for cGMP Requirements. Presentations before the USDA; NIH; NNFA; AHP; and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, have included “Whole Herb Evaluation: A Multidisciplinary Approach”; “Quality Control & Analysis of Botanicals”; “Adulteration & Substitution of Guarana”; “Botanical Laxatives” & “Botanical Adulteration”; “Quality Control & GMPs for Botanicals”. Publications include: Rapid Development and Optimization of Black Cohosh (Actea racemosa L.) & Schizandra Berry (Schizandra spp.); HPLC and LC-MS Separations using an Automated Design of Experiments Approach with Integrated Column and Solvent Switching; Talking About Testing: Q&A with Independent Testing Labs; Plant Naphthoquinones; AHP Willow Bark Monograph; Forgotten & Neglected American Medicinal Plants. Mr. Lytle has extensive expertise in a wide range of analytical methods with associated sample prep, analytical software, reporting, and documentation on instrumentation including: HPTLC, HPLC, GC, UV-VIS-IR Spectroscopy, GFAA and TXRF Spectroscopy, GC-MS, LC-MS (triple quad and ion trap). Bench, pilot and industrial process equipment competency includes use and fabrication of: Freeze Drying, Spray Drying, Vacuum Tray Drying; Solvent and Aqueous Distillation; Lloyd, Soxhlet, Reflux, Countercurrent Extraction, Superheated water, Sub and Supercritical CO2 Extraction, and Maceration; Hammer mills, Cutter Mills, Hydraulic and Filter presses; Pressure vessels and Tanks, Filling Line assemblies, Labeling and Banding machines. Mr. Lytle is a co-inventor on the U.S. and EU patent: “Chocolate composition as delivery system for nutrients and medications“.

 

David Ramsey, Ph.D.

Director of Systems Architecture

Dr. Ramsey, received his Ph.D in Engineering, at the University of Texas, Austin in the early 1990s where he studied radioactive and hazardous materials and also held a DOE Research Appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory. For over 20 years Dr. Ramsey has been a systems architect at U.S. and global companies. He has focused on product strategy, technical architecture, and product integration and managed multiple complex projects with worldwide cross-functional teams at such companies as AT&T, Microsoft, and Platinum. He also is a founder of two start ups: a big data fusion and analytical platform developer, as well as a taxonomic SMS service. Dr. Ramsey has helped manage one of the largest carbon credit projects in the world. He has worked in Africa, the Indian Sub-Continent, Asia, and the Middle East. Dr. Ramsey has been the winner of the coveted R&D 100 Award. He was the recipient of Walter L. and Reta Mae Moore Fellowship at University of Texas, Austin, and a member of Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honorary Society), and Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering Honorary Society). He was an inventor on the patent entitled "Puncture Detecting Barrier Materials". Dr. Ramsey continues to develop new applications for technology in his areas of expertise while performing due diligence on emerging markets and opportunities.