For over 30 years, David Dodds has used biological methods for performing organic chemistry, and has worked at the conjunction of organic synthesis, molecular biology, microbiology and fermentation, as well as the development and scale-up of industrial processes combining these disciplines.
After obtaining his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry under Prof. J. Bryan Jones at the University of Toronto in 1984, he was awarded a Medical Research Council of Canada post-doctoral fellowship which he pursued in molecular biology with Prof. Marvin H. Caruthers at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Following his postdoctoral work, David joined Sepracor, where his work led to a number of patents covering the enzymatic resolution of pharmaceutical intermediates. Following this, he was then invited to establish the new biotransformations group within Chemical Process Development at Schering-Plough. His group successful introduced biocatalysis in over a dozen projects at scales ranging from lab-bench scale synthesis of drug metabolites for drug discovery groups, to GMP pilot-plant batches providing intermediates for clinical material. This included the use of a non-aqueous enzymatic step in the synthesis of POSACONAZOLE®. Under David's leadership, the group filed 13 patent disclosures and produced a total of 37 public presentations and publications - an unusual accomplishment for an industrial process development group.
David was invited to take over a larger group at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and became Director of Fermentation and Biocatalysis Development. His group handled chemical process development, molecular biology, industrial fermentation, and GMP analytical services, supporting both Discovery and Production. He was responsible for reviewing all technology that was sent to BMS regarding TAXOL®, writing the technical evaluation for the formal corporate response. David managed and renewed a multi-million dollar external project for the biological production of TAXOL® and novel taxanes.
In an unusual project, David successfully convinced regulatory groups that chemically synthesizing the genes of bovine enzymes for microbial expression - instead of cloning them - would allow a commercial process to comply with TSE regulations. Construction of an entire plasmid and expression system was accomplished several years before large scale gene synthesis became commercially available.
Pursuing a longstanding ambition, David established Dodds & Associates, and provides new and small companies with technical strategy, IP analysis, and CTO-level management across a range of disciplines covering process chemistry, molecular biology, biotransformations & biocatalysis, industrial biotech, plus fermentation of natural products and recombinant enzymes.
David has organized and chaired several international symposia, served as North American Editor for the Journal of Molecular Catalysis B, and has an extensive record of patents, publications, and invited presentations in various forums on both sides of the Atlantic. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor for Rondaxe Pharma, is on the scientific advisory boards for ZuChem and PureVision, and was an original member of the Codexis Industrial Advisory Board. He is a member of the Executive Committee for ASTM E62, Industrial Biotechnology, and a co-founder of Pronghorn Renewables and SriyiaDXI LLC.