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Cannabis has been in the dark.
Until now.

Phylos Bioscience is an agricultural genomics company based in Portland, Oregon. We’re using modern molecular genetics and computational biology to better understand the most important and least-studied plant in the world: Cannabis.

We’re using science to create tools that are allowing our new industry to grow safely and sustainably. Our services are designed to be used by producers of all sizes, from small home growers to large scale commercial operations.


Portrait of Mowgli Holmes

Mowgli Holmes, PhD

Co-founder, CEO

Mowgli Holmes is a molecular and evolutionary biologist. He has a PhD from Columbia University, where he was a National Research Service Award Fellow. He is a founding board member of the Cannabis Safety Institute and the Open Cannabis Project, and is Chair of the Oregon State Cannabis Research Task Force.

Portrait of Nishan Karassik

Nishan Karassik

Co-Founder / Chief Innovation Officer

Nishan Karassik is an entrepreneur with over twenty years of experience leading successful companies in both the service and manufacturing fields. He studied finance and economics at the University of Oregon.

Portrait of Ralph Risch

Ralph Risch

Chief Operating Officer

Ralph is an experienced entrepreneur and business leader who has founded and successfully exited multiple companies in the high tech industry. He has a BS in Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Colorado.

Portrait of Scott Bowman

Scott Bowman

Chief Financial Officer

Scott Bowman is an experienced financial executive with experience in high-growth organizations as CFO and with 15 years as an investment banker focused on assisting companies with M&A, capital raises, and general financial advisory. Scott has an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

Portrait of Alisha Holloway

Alisha Holloway, PhD

VP of Data Science

Alisha Holloway is a data scientist with expertise in genomics and statistical analysis of big data. She was an Assistant Professor at UC San Francisco School of Medicine, and was the founding director of the Gladstone Institutes Bioinformatics Core Facility. She earned a PhD focused on molecular evolution at the University of Texas in Austin.

Portrait of Jessica Kristof

Jessica Kristof

VP of Research and Development

Jessica Kristof was a Clinical Development Scientist specializing in quantitative PCR at MolecularMD, and Staff Scientist at Synthetic Genomics Inc. She holds multiple patents, and has degrees in both Biophysics and Horticulture from Oregon State University.

Portrait of Julie Karassik

Julie Karassik

VP of Business Operations

Julie Karassik brings over 20 years of business leadership focusing on growth, stability and strong team building in complex and evolving industries. Julie graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Oregon.

Portrait of Damon Hess

Damon Hess

VP of Sales

Damon Hess has managed global sales teams in a variety of industries from semiconductors to organic photovoltaics throughout his 25 years working mostly with startups. He holds an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Portrait of Kenichi Nakamura

Kenichi Nakamura

VP of Engineering

Kenichi brings two decades of experience developing software in fields from security to marketing, on both servers and mobile platforms. He has led teams architecting large scale, real-time GIS platforms; developed secure wireless firmware upgrade processes; scaled campaigns for top brands; and maintained popular open source projects.

Scientific Advisory Board

Portrait of Chelsea Specht. PhD

Chelsea Specht, PhD

Dr. Specht is Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Curator of Monocots at the UC Berkeley University and Jepson Herbaria. Her research is focused on plant systematics and evolutionary genetics.

Portrait of Timothy Gregory, PhD

Timothy J. Gregory, PhD

Dr. Gregory started as a scientist in the early days of Genentech and recently retired as Senior Director of the Process Sciences Division there. He is currently a Co-Founder and Senior Vice President at a new company focused on oncology treatments directed at cancer stem cells. He is also Chairman of the Advisory Board of Directors for the University of California Botanical Garden.

Portrait of Rob Brown, PhD

Rob Brown, PhD

Dr. Brown is Senior Director at Synthetic Genomics Inc. where he leads a genome engineering team developing microbes for the production of advanced biofuels and chemicals. He has over 20 issued patents and pending applications in various areas of industrial biotechnology.

Portrait of Hiro Nonogaki, PhD

Hiro Nonogaki, PhD

Dr. Nonogaki is Associate Professor of Horticulture, and Director of the Integrative Seed Biology Program, at Oregon State University. His research is focused on the molecular mechanisms involved in seed germination.

Portrait of Toby Richardson, PhD

Toby Richardson, PhD

Dr. Richardson is Vice President at Synthetic Genomics Inc. Dr. Richardson has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of bioinformatics, enzymology, and molecular biology, and leads the bioinformatics program at SGI.

Portrait of Jessica Green, PhD

Jessica Green, PhD

Dr. Green is Associate Professor at the University of Oregon, where she is Founding Director of the Biology and Built Environment Center. She is External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, a TED Senior Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow. Her work is focused on microbial biodiversity, especially in the context of engineering, design, and the built environment.

Portrait of Robert Connell Clarke

Robert Connell Clarke

Robert Connell Clarke is the world’s foremost authority on the botany and breeding of cannabis, and a co-founder of the International Hemp Association. He is the author of the foundational classic Marijuana Botany, and co-author of the recent comprehensive and interdisciplinary study cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany.