From Farm to Fork
Consumers and producers of food expect the highest levels of quality and safety in the products that touch their lives. Avazyme is dedicated to provide our agricultural and food industry clients with a complete line of fresh and user-friendly testing and consultative solutions, leading to confidence in the food supply from farm to fork.
The food value chain is the process by which your food goes from you to your customers.
Avazyme’s comprehensive services include food safety analyses for contaminants, pathogens and allergens, food quality and nutrition analysis, genetic trait testing and preparation of regulatory submission data packages. Learn more about our services here
Meet Our Team
- Volker Borneman, Ph.D., CEO
- Steve Werness, M.S., M.S., Analytical Laboratory Director
- Suzanne Bornemann, M.A., Director of Marketing
- Thomas Currier, Ph.D.
- Bill Horton, M.S.
- Stuart M. Mertz Jr., Ph.D.
Volker Borneman, Ph.D., CEO
Volker Bornemann is a results-oriented Business and R&D Executive with a demonstrated track record of leading innovation, change, and business integration within corporate and research settings. Over the past 25 years he has held a number of leadership roles in regulatory science and food safety R &D in the agricultural solutions industry and more recently in environmental and lifescience laboratory service businesses. He has a wealth of international, operational, business development and technology related experience developing and growing science and technology solution based companies, teams and laboratories in the life sciences marketplace. He is the founder and CEO of Avazyme, Inc., a North Carolina based corporation.
In 2015 Volker was also appointed Adjunct Professor by the Department of Chemistry in the College of Science of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Volker holds a degree in Chemistry (Vordiplom) from Universität Hamburg in Germany, and a PH.D. in Chemistry from Rice University, Houston, Texas. He had a Post-Doc appointment at the University of Hawaii, working on marine and algal natural products, and has completed extensive executive education at Harvard Business School.
Steve Werness, M.S., M.S., Analytical Laboratory Director
Steve has over 30 years hands-on experience in mass spectrometry and chromatography based analytical methods as well as general spectroscopy technologies. His extensive knowledge spans the qualitative and quantitative analysis of pharmaceutical and crop protection active ingredients, pesticide residue chemistry, bioanalytical measurements for pharmacokinetic (PK) and ADME (adsorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion) studies supporting pre-clinical research and development programs for small and large pharmaceutical companies, including Parke-Davis and Pfizer. During his tenure with BASF Agricultural Solutions Division, he played a pivotal role in establishing the new spectroscopy platform in BASF’s Research Triangle Park GLP laboratory, implementing the then new atmospheric pressure ionization technology for the efficient and effective quantitation and metabolite identification of new pesticides in crops and processed foods. During his career, Steve had the opportunity to hone his leadership and customer services skills, guiding his team to fulfill the analytical needs of internal and external clients and partners in a high pressure, timeline driven, and uncertain environment. He also very successfully applied his teaching skills, helping to create and foster a culture of continuous knowledge seeking and knowledge sharing with his colleagues.
Steve has a M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Michigan, a B.A. in Chemistry from Carleton College, and a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Suzanne Bornemann, M.A., Director of Marketing
Suzanne’s experience in corporate communications includes thirteen years as a scientific writer, editor, and translator for publicly traded global companies. She successfully prepared Dossiers for pesticide registrations for European and US Regulatory submissions (EPA, FDA, PMRA, EFSA). Suzanne produced publish-ready reports and the BioTech section of the Annual Report, as well as specification documents for a global LIMS System, where she was able to apply her background in Artificial Intelligence.
At ManTech Environmental, Suzanne was chief editor for the Health Effect Research Laboratory (HERL), preparing and managing the reports and deliverables to the EPA; as well as documents, reports and publications for NIEHS, DOD, DOE; and NIH cancer detection/efficacy studies. As Sales professional for Kinlin Grover Real Estate, Suzanne developed a strategy for Inbound and Outbound Marketing, executing print and digital advertising, and Social Media. Her expert negotiating skills earned trust, loyalty, and advocacy of the brand. She also coached professionals/diplomats (from Europe, Asia, and South America) for communications and was also an instructor in Symbolic Logic at Houston and Honolulu Community College; and in Business Communications and Linguistics at Universität Germersheim in Germany.
Suzanne holds a M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii and a M.A. from Rice University in Philosophy (of Logic).
Thomas Currier, Ph.D.
Tom has over 30 years of experience and training in academic and industrial settings. He has a diverse background in the application of biochemistry/physiology, microbiology, molecular genetics, plant molecular biology, and insect physiology to both research and applied problems. He has extensive experience in production of antibodies and their use in development and validation of immunoassays including ELISAs and lateral flow strips. Tom has experience in protein purification and analysis, formulation of biological pesticides, data generation/preparation for regulatory submissions of biological pesticides and preparation of Standard Operation Procedures. Much of the regulatory work was performed under Good Laboratory Practice standards. Tom founded a biopesticide company in 1999 and is very familiar with the challenges of generating funds, obtaining customers and supplying cost effective services. Tom worked for a few years in the pharmaceutical industry where he developed HPLC isolation procedures for natural products and developed protein based assays for use in screening small molecule inhibitors from chemical and natural product libraries. Additional experiences include teaching, preparation of grant proposals, oral and written reports, recruiting and supervision of research teams, project coordination, and contract negotiations.
Post Doctorate, DOE-Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University. Ph.D., Microbiology and Immunology, University of Washington. M.S., Microbiology and Immunology, University of Washington. B.S., Microbiology, Indiana University
Bill Horton, Manager Business Development
Bill joins Avazyme with over 30 years of experience in the crop protection chemicals and animal health industry. His professional experience spans residue analysis as a bench chemist/study director
performing GLP routine analyses and method development in the BASF labs, as well as the development of an extensive contract laboratory network. At American Hoechst followed by American Cyanamid (later American Home Products and finally BASF) he conducted GLP studies in metabolism, environmental fate, and ecotoxicology and subsequently presented these data packages to EPA, including negotiations that resulted in rapid and successful pesticide and animal health registrations. At BASF, he spent six years in Germany as Registration Manager for the Middle East and Africa. In this capacity, Bill prepared, facilitated, and defended the registration of well over 100 crop protection chemicals in the Middle East and Africa. Bill’s skills include in depth, worldwide experience in conducting GLP studies, dossier writing and registration of crop protection chemicals and related regulatory sciences, regulatory systems and global regulatory affairs. His demonstrated strengths include team building, leadership, negotiation and analytical problem solving. Bill has a M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from the State University of New York, College at Oswego as well as a B.S. from the same University.
Stuart M. Mertz Jr., Ph.D.
Stu Mertz of PEAK Quality Consulting, Inc. is heading Avazyme’s GLP quality assurance efforts. Stu is a plant physiologist by training and an independent consultant with 20 years’ experience in GLP Quality Assurance, and over 40 years combined laboratory, field and regulatory experience in R&D. In his professional career he worked for agricultural products and drug companies producing crop protecting chemicals, biotech products and animal health drugs including Monsanto, FMC, American Cyanamid (Fort Dodge Animal Health/American Home Products), BASF, and field test site CROs. His Quality Assurance proficiencies include: EPA and FDA GLPs and OECD Principles of GLP; mentoring new auditors and QA Managers; conducting GLP training; conducting testing facility inspections of Sponsor and Contract Research Organizations; training and assisting organizations to prepare for agency inspections; conducting study-specific critical-phase inspections across North and Central America, protocol, data and report audits; and writing SOPs. He has participated in successful EPA, FDA, and OECD agency inspections. Stu is a member of the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC) as well as the Society for Quality Assurance (SQA) and NCCSQA, the North Carolina Chapter of SQA. He is active in the SQA Mentoring Program since 2010 to present.