Dalan aims to become the leader in insect health, providing sustainable solutions to ensure safe food supply.
Annette Kleiser

Annette Kleiser, PhD


Annette has over 20 years of experience in business development, start-up formation, corporate strategy development and alliance management, both in university technology transfer and the biotechnology industry. She studied biology at the University of Konstanz and earned her PhD at the Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich.

Dalial Freitak

Dalial Freitak, PhD


Dalial has over 15 years of experience in research with a specific focus on insect immunology and physiology. In addition to her current role as CSO, she holds an Assistant Professor position at the Karl Franzens University Graz, Institute of Biology. She studied biology (Zoology and Animal Ecology) at the University of Tartu and earned her PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology in Jena.

Franziska Dickel

Franziska Dickel, PhD

Director Scientific Operations

Franziska has a background in agricultural farming methods and biological pest control with over 10 years of experience in insect immunity and pesticide resistance. In addition to serving as Dalan’s Director for Scientific Operations, she also holds a postdoctoral research position at the Karl Franzens University Graz, Institute of Biology. She earned her PhD in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Jyväskylä.

brendon keiser

Brendon Keiser, MBA

Global Marketing & Product Strategy

Brendon has over 25 years of experience in business development, sales & marketing, strategy, and operations in the biopharmaceutical industry, having worked with Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, and Baxter both in Europe and the U.S. Brendon holds a BA in General Biology and History from UCSD and an MBA from Penn State University. He currently runs 15 bee hives and sells the honey locally.


Huw Hughes

Huw Hughes, PhD

Vaccine Development – Echo Veterinary Consulting Inc.

Huw has over 35 years of experience in research, development and industrialization of veterinary biological products.  He was Head of Global Biological Product Development at Zoetis (Kalamazoo, MI, USA) and Merial (Lyon, France). Huw has overseen the development and market authorization of over 65 new products in the U.S., EU and Asia, and is an expert on global development and registration needs, with an in-depth knowledge of biologics manufacturing. He earned his PhD in Immunology from Leeds University.

Caroline Heller

Caroline Heller, MBA, MA, DVM

Global Commercialization Strategy – CJH Consulting LLC

Caroline has over 10 years of commercial development, strategy and marketing expertise in the Animal Health industry with particular focus on livestock.  At Zoetis she was VP of Commercial Development & Lifecycle Management, EMEA Group Director of Marketing & Technical, and Director of Strategic Planning. She brings profound expertise in Corporate Strategy, Marketing and Business Development. Caroline has worked as a sector expert at various Venture Capital and Hedge Funds in the animal health and nutrition space. She earned her MBA from Columbia University, her MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and her DVM for Tufts University.

board of directors

Linda Rhodes

Linda Rhodes, VMD, PhD  

Animal Health Entrepreneur & Veterinarian

Linda began her career as a large animal practitioner before joining the R&D group at Merck and later leading clinical research at Merial. In 2001 she co-found AlcheraBio, a CRO specializing in helping clients develop new drugs for animals. In 2011, Dr. Rhodes became the founding CEO of Aratana Therapeutics, a company that developed dog and cat therapeutics, and subsequently, when the company went public, she served as its Chief Scientific Officer. After retiring from Aratana in 2016, Dr. Rhodes was appointed to the Board of Directors of Zoetis. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College, her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD from Cornell University.

Petteri Saarinen

Petteri Saarinen, M.Sc. (Eng)

CEO, LEDiL Group

Petteri has extensive leadership experience and a proven track record in successful international business execution. Over the past 25 years, he has held various strategic, executive and operational positions in an array of businesses including family-owned companies, several Private Equity portfolio companies and global conglomerates covering industry sectors such as Building & Construction, Safety & Security, Power & Energy, Marine Oil & Gas, LED Lighting Optics, Healthcare & Pharma. His MSc (Eng) was awarded by Aalto University, Helsinki University of Technology.

Peter Brons Poulsen

Peter Brons-Poulsen

President, Colgate-Palmolive (Europe)

Peter has more than 30 years of global leadership experience helming large organizations, and a deep knowledge of innovation processes. He is the former President & Chief Executive Officer of Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc., a global leader in animal nutrition. Prior to his role at Hill’s, Peter served as Vice President & General Manager at GABA International AG, and has held several positions around the world at Colgate-Palmolive.

investment advisors

gene robinson

Gene Robinson, Ph.D.  

Director - Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois

Gene is an international leader in honeybee research and has more than 30 years of experience in sociogenomics, neural, endocrine, molecular and genomic mechanisms in honeybees. He holds a Swanlund Chair, is a Professor of Entomology and Director of the Bee Research Facility at University of Illinois. In addition, Gene is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science as well as the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture, highlighting his extraordinary contribution to honeybee research.

warren rickard

Warren Rickard

President, Addiction Pet Food

Warren is a serial Animal Health entrepreneur with demonstrated expertise in business, strategic and corporate development. He is founder Co-Founder of Anivive, Inc., and serves as a member on the Board of Directors of Petco Foundation. Warren advises pet industry venture funds and companies in the U.S., Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.

susan hershenson

Susan Hershenson, Ph.D.

Deputy Director , CMC – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Susan has more than 30 years of expertise in drug development and is a specialist in the area of chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC). She has been President of Pharmaceutical Transformations, LLC and Vice President of Pharmaceutical and Device Development at Genentech and Vice President of Pharmaceutics at Amgen.