nanoSUR | Our Team
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Our Team

Meet the Team


Juan Arhancet

CEO, Founder

Dr. Juan Arhancet is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of nanoSUR, LLC. Before founding nanoSUR, Dr. Arhancet served first as Chief Executive Officer and later as Chief Scientific Officer of Apse Inc. (2010 -2016), now doing business as RNAgri. Dr. Arhancet founded Apse Inc, which developed a fermentation process for the large scale, cost efficient production of RNA for agriculture applications. Prior to founding Apse he was Assoc. Fellow at Monsanto, St. Louis, for 12 years, where he developed and launched technology for the production of Glyphosate. Before joining Monsanto, Dr. Arhancet was Research Engineer at Shell Chemical’s R&D, Houston, TX, for 8 years. Dr. Arhancet received a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Universidad de la República, Uruguay, a Master’s Degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He holds more than 35 granted U.S. patents, and 9 publications.


Andrew Fehretdinov


Mr. Fehretdinov has over 15 years of financial management and accounting experience. Mr. Fehretdinov is currently the CFO of Incentive Technology Group, LLC, a 300-employee company focused on providing application development solutions to Federal agencies and fortune 500 firms. Mr. Fehretdinov oversees Finance, Accounting, HR and other back office operations at ITG. Prior to joining ITG, Mr. Fehretdinov was an equity partner and Vice President of Finance for DMI Inc., a $400M-revenue IT Services provider, where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, budgeting/forecasting and contract negotiations. Prior to DMI, Mr. Fehretdinov was a Director of Finance at SystemsNet, Inc., where he spearheaded M&A due diligence efforts as part of a private equity-backed portfolio company. Mr. Fehretdinov started his career at J.P. Morgan as an investment banking analyst in the Equity Capital Markets Group in Hong Kong, followed by an investment banking role at Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., in New York, and a subsequent analyst role at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Washington, DC. Mr. Fehretdinov obtained a BSBA degree in Finance/Accounting from Georgetown University and an MBA from the University of Florida. Mr. Fehretdinov is a CFA Charterholder.


Graciela Arhancet

President, Founder

Dr. Graciela Arhancet is Founder and a member of the Board of Directors of nanoSUR. She was Director of Innovation at Novus International, in St. Louis, MO (2010 – 2017) where she managed strategic technologies and new product innovation. Before joining Novus, Dr. Arhancet held various leadership positions in Drug Discovery and Early Development at Pfizer St. Louis Laboratories and its legacy companies for more than 11 years where she discovered and advanced two candidates into clinical trials for diabetic nephropathy and pain. Dr. Arhancet earned a Doctorate degree in Organic Synthesis from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de la Republica , Uruguay. She is the author and holder of more than fifty publications and patents.


Vladimir Trubetskoy

Director of Formulation

Dr. Vladimir Trubetskoy holds a Master’s degree in Polymer Chemistry from Moscow State University and PhD in Biochemistry from the National Cardiology Research Center in Moscow, Russia. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Dept of Biochemistry at the University of Tennessee and the Center for Imaging and Pharmaceutical Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Trubetskoy joined Mirus Corporation in 1996 where he was involved in design of polymer-based systems for nucleic acid delivery. Mirus Corporation was acquired by Roche in 2008 and became Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals in 201 where he remained until 2015. He is a co-author of 38 original research papers, 9 reviews/book chapters and co-inventor on 33 US patents.


Darren Wakefield

Director of Chemistry

Darren Wakefield has more than 16 years of experience in the chemical modification, bioconjugation and delivery of nucleic acids. At MirusBio he development the polymer and formulation techniques which led to development of dynamic polyconjugates (DPCs) used in the targeted delivery of siRNA. These developments led to MirusBio’s acquisition by Roche. At Roche he led a team that developed more bio-compatible delivery vehicles (DPC’s) which increased the threptic window 10-fold over the original DPC. Then at Arrowhead he led the polymer, oligonucleotide synthesis, discovery analytics and DMPK groups, work from these groups helped get multiply modalities into the clinic. Darren is a named inventor on over 80 patents and has 15 publications.


David Lewis

Board of Advisors – Biology

Dr. Lewis has over 15 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology industry. He was a pioneer in the use of RNAi in insects and was the first to show that siRNAs could be used to inhibit gene expression in multiple tissues of adult mammals. Dr. Lewis began his career at MirusBio where he spearheaded the effort to develop RNAi-based therapeutics. After acquisition of MirusBio by Roche, he held positions of increasing responsibility within Roche’s RNA Therapeutics division rising to the rank of Director of Research and Site Head of Roche Madison. Dr. Lewis was most recently Chief Scientific Officer at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals where he oversaw Arrowhead’s pre-clinical research and drug development programs. Dr. Lewis received a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University. His post-doctoral studies were performed at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Wisconsin. He is a named inventor on over 50 patents and has over 30 publications and book chapters. Dr. Lewis has held an Adjunct Professor position at the University of Wisconsin since 2015.


David Rozema

Board of Advisors – Chemistry

Dr. David Rozema holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry for Calvin College and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin.  He has worked more than 18 years on the in vivo delivery of nucleic acids.  At MirusBio, he developed techniques to facilitate intracellular delivery, which led to the discovery of polymer-based delivery vehicles termed dynamic polyconjugates (DPCs).  DPC technology was acquired by Roche Pharmaceuticals and then Arrowhead where David led the discovery and development efforts for clinical programs based upon DPC technology. David has more than 40 issued US patents, been primary investigator on 3 NIH-funded SBIR grants and serves on the NIH Bioengineering Sciences and Technologies SBIR grant committee.


Irene Gatti de Leon

Board of Advisors – Regulatory

Dr. Irene Gatti is a Consultant with more than 15 years of experience leading global biotech regulatory teams, rooted in two decades of R&D working experience in the plant biotech industry. Irene has strong knowledge of biotech regulatory and compliance requirements in different stages of R&D and proven ability to facilitate activities across geographies.

She successfully obtained United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory approvals for crop biotech traits commercial launchings in the US.
She also secured biotech products cultivations and import approvals to facilitate global crop trade in conjunction with local partners in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EMEA, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico and S. Africa.


Karl-Heinz Kogel

Board of Advisors – Phytopathology

Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Kogel, born in 1956, teaches and researches since 1996 at the Justus Liebig University (JLU) Gießen, Germany. The call on the chair of Plant Diseases and Plant Protection he accepted after various research stays, inter alia, at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot in Israel and at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany. At JLU, Prof. Kogel established several research groups in the field of plant pathology and plant protection with a focus on fungal diseases such as Fusarium Head Blight, powdery mildew and rusts. From 2006 to 2009 Prof. Kogel was Vice President of the JLU responsible for Research and Internationalization.
Prof. Kogel holds a major in Biology and a PhD degree in Plant Physiology from the RWTH Aachen University. His present research focuses are on molecular plant pathology, plant biotechnology, allergy research and plant protection by RNAs. In the latter field, his group discovered possibilities to exploit the RNAi mechanisms to control devastating fungal diseases such as Fusarium Head Blight which can reduce the use of chemical agents. Recently, the work of his research team on the role of small RNA molecules in the development of pathogens and combating diseases have discovered new potential targets for fighting plant diseases.