About Thomas Brutnell

Thomas Brutnell pic

A Chesterfield, Missouri scientist, Thomas Brutnell leads Viridis Genomics Consulting, focusing on leading-edge developments in plant genetics and genomics. Thomas Brutnell’s work centers on agricultural biotechnology communities, including pre-Series A biotech firms with disruptive research approaches. His guidance includes project management, as well as R&D, grant writing, and manuscript editing.

From 2012 to 2017, Dr. Brutnell led Benson Hill Biosystems in St. Louis as cofounder and chief scientific officer, informing efforts to develop crop-yield traits through the manipulation of plants’ photosynthetic activities. Another project involved improving the trait discovery pipeline through use of the rapid-cycling C4 grass S. viridis. This approach enabled candidate genes to be efficiently identified and validated. His contributions extended to active capital-raising throughout the Series A and B funding rounds.

During this time, Dr. Brutnell also served as director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels. A major focus at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center was on guiding bioenergy-related crop portfolio transition to lignocellulosics from algae and seed oils. Thomas Brutnell also spearheaded a collaborative project that employed S. viridis as a model system in achieving genetic improvements in sorghum.