CHICAGO – Feb. 3, 2021 – Germin8 Ventures, a purpose-driven venture capital firm backing the founders of technology companies transforming the food system as a means of solving global challenges, today announced the appointment of physician-scientist Dr. Ashlie L Burkart, MD as Chief Scientific Officer. Drawing upon her deep pathology and research background, Dr. Burkart will play a key role in extending Germin8’s scientific capabilities and actively supporting Germin8 portfolio companies.
As a double-boarded anatomic and clinical pathologist with expertise in gastrointestinal/liver pathology, Dr. Burkart is uniquely skilled at diagnosing and investigating the nature of gastrointestinal diseases, as well as the laboratory application of biologic, chemical and physical sciences. Since this skill set could be used towards health and nutrition, microbiome, agro-ecology, and climate alike, Dr. Burkart joins Germin8 effectively as a medical-ecologist bringing intellectual horsepower to shepherd a new standard of care for people and the planet, enabled by our food.
Dr. Burkart is a highly respected gastrointestinal pathologist and a grant-funded researcher conducting gut barrier mechanistic studies with far reaching implications for human health and disease. Dr. Burkart received a B.A. in biology from Brown University, where she graduated magna cum laude with an honors in neuroscience. She received her M.D. from McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Additionally, she completed residencies in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology at John Hopkins Medical Institutions, as well as a fellowship in gastrointestinal and liver pathology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Burkart is also a recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, the highest teaching award that is awarded by the graduating medical school class, as well as the National Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, which the medical college awards to “one faculty member who demonstrates both clinical excellence and outstanding compassion.”
“Many physicians strive to be effective at the bedside, one-by-one. Dr. Burkart has the potential to be effective for a vast population by engaging farm-to-fork. As health paradigms shift and the worlds of food, agriculture and medicine converge, Dr. Burkart’s profile is exactly what we need to see more of in our ecosystem to bust myths, challenge conventional thought, illuminate pathways for viable impact and bridge scientific and non-scientific communities effectively,” said Michael Lavin, Founder & Managing Partner, Germin8 Ventures. “We’re honored to lead this charge with Dr. Burkart, who will contribute meaningfully to investment strategy, deal sourcing and evaluation while adding value to founders as an expert thought partner guiding strategy, advising de-risking and contributing to company building.”
“Now that abundant scientific data shows diet and the state of the gut microbiome are key to human health, bringing together medical science with agri-food tech will result in a collaboration worth far more than the sum of its parts.” said Dr. Burkart. “I am honored to join Germin8’s team and be a part of their effort to make a more substantial impact on health and the environment.”
About Germin8 Ventures
Germin8 Ventures is a purpose-driven venture capital firm that believes in the power of leveraging strong strategic capabilities in partnership with the founders of cutting-edge technology companies to transform the global food system and solve its greatest challenges. Founded in 2018 by Michael Lavin, its global network extends beyond Chicago and Silicon Valley, across six continents and major food-meets-tech markets, including Chicago, Israel, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand. The firm’s eleven-person investment and advisory team is comprised of industry veterans, founders, technologists and investors who are passionate about improving the global food system through disruptive technologies, sciences and practices. For more information about Germin8, please visit www.germin8ventures.com or connect with us on LinkedIn or Twitter.5