We are Synthetic Biology

ATUM has been the industry leader in Synthetic Biology Solutions for over a decade.
Our products, consultants and services enable researchers worldwide to achieve their goals.

Company Management bobbleheads

Jon Ness, Sridhar Govindarajan, Jeremy Minshull and Claes Gustafsson

With significant industry experience in fields such as molecular biology, bioinformatics, technology development and research leadership, the company’s senior management team uniquely positions ATUM as an industry-leading enabler of visionary products and services. ATUM’s visionary biotech leadership has improved the way people research, create and live, one gene at a time.

Ferenc Boldog, Ph.D.

Director, Cell Line Development

Dr. Ferenc Boldog joined ATUM in 2016 and has brought his expertise and creativity to the company’s molecular biology, cell biology and protein therapeutics development processes. Prior to ATUM, he was the Head of Cell Line Development at Shire. Throughout his 35-year academic and industrial career, Ferenc’s passion has been science and innovation, which is reflected in his 10 patents and 40 publications.

Michael Feldhaus, Ph.D.

Senior VP, Antibody Technologies

Dr. Feldhaus co-founded MIGS LLC in September of 2013. MIGS has developed the capacity, speed and high throughput, small scale production capabilities to support discovery efforts which may utilize in silico design, deep sequencing of immune repertoires and antibody fragment based discovery platforms. Previously, as the Executive Vice President of Research at Adimab, Dr. Feldhaus led teams that would ultimately develop the premier IgG antibody discovery and optimization platform. Dr. Feldhaus successfully designed and managed more than 25 antibody discovery projects while at Adimab with over 20 pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Feldhaus is on the advisory board for Cambridge Health Tech, and he has more than 20 patents (issued and applications). Dr. Feldhaus completed his undergraduate degree in Microbiology at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, and holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from the School of Medicine at the University of Utah.

Mark Fox, Ph.D.

Director, Expression technologies

Dr. Mark Fox joined ATUM in 2017. Prior to his current position, Dr. Fox led the expression and purification groups at Catalyst Biosciences developing methods for the production of novel proteases and was a Principal Scientist at Rinat Laboratories, Pfizer inc. Before entering industry, Mark conducted Post graduate level research at the University of California, San Francisco and at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Parasitology from the University of Glasgow and holds a Masters and Undergraduate degree from the same University.

Sridhar Govindarajan, Ph.D.

Chief Information Officer

As ATUM’s Co-founder and CIO, Dr. Sridhar Govindarajan leads the company’s automation and protein engineering efforts. He offers more than 20 years of scientific computing experience. Prior to his current position, Govindarajan led the computational research in optimizing directed evolution technologies at Maxygen, Inc., and was a Systems Architect at EraGen Biosciences. Govindarajan conducted graduate-level research at the University of Michigan’s Department of Chemistry, and was a Junior Research Fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)’s Department of Chemistry. In addition to his role at ATUM, Govindarajan contributes to the science community through industry event presentations and the publishing of more than 40 papers, including a 2008 peer-reviewed paper in Nature. He received his Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry/Biophysics from the University of Michigan and holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from IIT in Mumbai, India.

Claes Gustafsson, Ph.D.

Chief Commercial Officer

As ATUM’s Co-Founder and CCO, Dr. Gustafsson oversees most of the company’s external communications. Prior to co-founding ATUM, Gustafsson was Scientist and later Manager at Maxygen Inc., where he led, managed and collaborated with key strategic teams for more than five years. He also held a Scientist position at Kosan Biosciences, as well as a number of research, teaching, and post-doctoral positions at UCs Santa Cruz and San Francisco, and at University of Umeå. He holds 43 issued U.S. patents and has published >40 scientific papers. Gustafsson received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry from the University of Umeå, Sweden (Heja Löven) where he studied translation under Prof Glenn Björk.

Jeremy Minshull, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Jeremy Minshull has served as President/CEO of ATUM since co-founding the company in 2003. Previously, he was Vice President of Core Technology at Maxygen Inc., where he developed new technologies and scientific infrastructure to support directed evolution projects in chemical, agricultural and human therapeutic areas. He also held an early position at Affymax, where he helped develop and enable DNA shuffling. Dr. Minshull has received several industry awards, holds 54 patents, is a member of several professional societies, and has authored or co-authored >40 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Minshull was a post-doctoral fellow at UC San Francisco, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, where he studied basic control of the eukaryotic cell cycle with Nobel laureate Dr. Tim Hunt. Minshull received an honors degree in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) from Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, England.

Jon Ness, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Jon Ness is a co-founder of ATUM and has coordinated the ATUM technology development since its inception. Prior to his tenure at ATUM, Ness was one of the first employees at Maxygen Inc., where he led Maxygen’s DNA Shuffling Technology Development Group. He also served as project leader for Maxygen’s collaborative partnership with Novozymes, focusing on improving industrial enzymes, including the laundry detergent protease subtilisin. As a post-doctoral fellow at Affymax, Ness laid the groundwork for in vivo recombination and whole genome shuffling in microorganisms. Dr. Ness holds 18 patents and is the co-author of 10 peer-reviewed articles. He received a Ph.D. in Bacterial Genetics and Physiology from UC Davis, and a BS in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota.

Mark Welch, Ph.D.

VP, Research and Development

Dr. Mark Welch has been with ATUM since 2006. At ATUM, Dr. Welch developed the GeneGPS machine-learning technology for experiment-driven gene expression optimization. He currently oversees gene, protein, vector and strain engineering contracts for customers as well as new technology development. Prior to work at ATUM, Dr. Welch held positions at Applied Biosystems, engineering improved proteins for diagnostic applications, at Kosan, engineering novel polyketide synthases to produce valuable intermediates for pharmaceutical syntheses, and at Maxygen, Inc., developing directed evolution methods for the improvement of proteins for a range of applications. Dr. Welch received his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1996 in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Yarus for studies of the mechanism and evolution of the ribosomal peptidyl transferase activity.


ATUM is the leading bioengineering solutions provider. Founded in 2003, ATUM (formerly DNA2.0®) offers an integrated pipeline of solutions for the research community, including platforms for protein and vector engineering, products such as expression vectors, fluorescent and chromogenic proteins, cell strains and reagents, as well as gene design, optimization, synthesis and cloning. ATUM is based in the US, with a global customer base encompassing academia, government and the pharmaceutical, chemical, agricultural and biotechnology industries. ATUM is by far the most published synthetic biology vendor, providing expert support to and collaboration with scientists. The company is privately held and is headquartered in Newark, California

With a reverence for the interplay between science, technology and nature, ATUM has developed a unique engineering platform based on machine learning and Design of Experiment (DoE).  The ProteinGPS® proprietary protein engineering technology uses megadimensional, empirical optimization processes to calculate the set of nodes that are information-rich in the relevant space, gene synthesis to make those exact sequences, and machine learning to find the preferred solution. The result: precise engineering of any measurable property in any protein so that it fulfills the exact functional criteria needed for commercialization. The proprietary VectorGPS® technology uses Design-of-Experiment (DoE) algorithms to build testable numbers of vectors from sets of control elements, and advanced machine learning to assess the contribution of each element to vector performance; resulting in custom vectors engineered precisely for individual proteins and expression systems.

While leading the industry in creating value-added applications through protein engineering, vector design and gene synthesis, ATUM has also chosen to emphasize customer service as a critical measure of success. The freely available ATUM software tool Gene Designer and the online DNA ATLAS, put all the tools and expertise needed for DNA sequence management and design at the fingertips of the user. The company positions itself as a resource and research partner for its customers, to enable accurate and innovative delivery of specific, immediately useful solutions. Customers value the individual, Ph.D.-level support they receive from ATUM’s sales and support staff, as well as the speed, accuracy, and flexibility with which products and services are delivered.

ATUM Issued Patents ATUM scientists are noted in italics

  • 9,771,402 Fluorescent and colored proteins and methods for using them. Minshull and Theodorou

  • 9,580,697 Enhanced nucleic acid constructs for eukaryotic gene expression. Minshull, Welch, Govindrajan and Caves

  • 9,574,209 Enhanced nucleic acid constructs for eukaryotic gene expression. Minshull, Welch, Govindrajan and Caves

  • 9,534,234 Enhanced nucleic acid constructs for eukaryotic gene expression. Minshull, Welch, Govindrajan and Caves

  • 9,493,521 Fluorescent and colored proteins and methods for using them. Minshull and Theodorou

  • 9,428,767 Enhanced nucleic acid constructs for eukaryotic gene expression. Minshull, Welch, Govindrajan and Caves

  • 9,290,552 Fluorescent and colored proteins and methods for using them. Minshull and Theodorou

  • 9,206,433 Methods, compositions and kits for a one-step DNA cloning system. Minshull, Ness and Theodorou

  • 9,102,944 Methods, compositions and kits for one-step DNA cloning using DNA topoisomerase. Ness and Minshull

  • 8,975,042 Fluorescent and colored proteins and methods for using them. Minshull and Theodorou

  • 8,825,411 Design, synthesis and assembly of synthetic nucleic acids. Govindarajan, Minshull and Ness

  • 8,635,029 Systems and methods for biopolymer engineering. Gustafsson, Govindarajan and Minshull

  • 8,412,461 Systems and methods for antibody engineering. Gustafsson, Govindarajan and Minshull.

  • 8,401,798 Systems and methods for constructing frequency lookup tables for expression systems. Welch and Gustafsson.

  • 8,323,930 Methods, compositions and kits for one-step DNA cloning using DNA topoisomerase. Ness and Minshull.

  • 8,158,391 Production of an α-carboxyl-ω-hydroxy fatty acid using a genetically modified Candida strain. Gross, Lu, Ness and Minshull.

  • 8,126,653 Synthetic nucleic acids for expression of encoded proteins. Welch and Gustafsson.

  • 8,005,620 Systems and methods for biopolymer engineering. Gustafsson, Govindarajan and Minshull.

  • 7,805,252 Systems and methods for designing and ordering polynucleotides. Gustafsson, Govindarajan, Ness, Villalobos and Minshull.

  • 7,561,973 Methods for determining properties that affect an expression property value of polynucleotides in an expression system. Welch and Gustafsson.

  • 7,561,972 Synthetic nucleic acids for expression of encoded proteins. Welch and Gustafsson.

ATUM Publications

View all published articles from researchers at ATUM

Search the ATUM Literature Database, containing over 1,200 scientific publications using ATUM technology for references relevant to your research.

ATUM Holiday Publications

Proc Natl Acad Sci Northpole 2015. 12:25-31. Optimization of Eggnog using Design of Experiment and Machine Learning. Claes, Ness, Elf, Dasher, Tinsel, and Menorah
Prof Laura Menorah’s team at the Univ Northpole uses DoE to optimize Mrs. Claus’ eggnog recipe.

Proc Natl Acad Sci Northpole 2013. 12:25-31. KRISPR-KRINGLEi Utilized for Leptin Supression in Elves (Denisova hominin). Kane, Claes, Ness, Elf, Dasher, and Menorah
Prof Laura Menorah’s team at the Univ Northpole utilizes the CRISPR system to improve Elf health.

Proc Natl Acad Sci Northpole 2012. 12:25-31. Deconvolution of Inherent Genomic-Melodic Linkages, or The Music of Life. Claes, Navidad, Ness, Elf, Dasher, Tinsel and Menorah
Prof Laura Menorah’s team at the Univ Northpole explores the relationship between ancestral genomic information and musical annotation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci Northpole 2011. 12:25-31. Nine improved monomeric fluorescent proteins from Rangifer tarandus. Claes, Navidad, Ness, Elf, Dasher, Tinsel and Menorah
Prof Laura Menorah's team at the Univ Northpole has used whole genome sequencing and genome-wide functional association studies to identify the red fluorescent protein, Rudolph. Directed evolution and protein engineering (ProteinGPS) further identified eight additional colors. The reindeer proteins are in the public domain and sold under the BioBrick Public Agreement.

Proc Natl Acad Sci Northpole 2010. 12:25-31. Carolome: Functional Imprints of Culture Memes in Global Genome. Claes, Navidad, Ness, Baum, Elf, Dasher, and Menorah
A research team lead by Prof Laura Menorah at the Univ Northpole has systematically identified Christmas carols deposited in sequence data, and established their direct role in the functional imprint and transfer of genetic information. They name this exciting new field of research Carolomics.

Nature 2009. 458:703. For anyone who ever said there's no such thing as a poetic gene. Gustafsson
Correspondence to Nature regarding poetry in synthetic genomes.

Proc Natl Acad Sci Northpole 2008 12:25-31. Metabolic engineering of Picea abies for receptor mediated induction of fluorescence and olfactory signaling. Claes, Navidad, Ness, Baum, Harry, Dasher, and Elf
In a concerted synthetic biology and tissue engineering effort, a team lead by Santa Claes at the Univ Northpole designed and constructed a christmas tree that induced endogenous fluorescent sparkling and olfactory emission after induction by christmas carols.

Proc Natl Acad Sci Northpole 2006. 12:25. Heterologous expression and functional characterization of the Santa Hoho2 gene. Claes, Reindeer, Nicolas, Tomte, Dasher, Elf
The Hoho2 gene responsible for facial hair formation of Santa Claus is isolated and shown to be an ortholog of human KRT6B. The Hoho2 gene was codon optimized and and the corresponding protein expressed in E. coli, reindeer and human. RNAi knockout constructs could be trans-complemented with an RNAi resistant Hoho2 variant. Brilliant science by Prof Elf and coworkers at Univ Northpole.

Int Pub 2005 12:25 Creation of the Tomten Gene G051225. Claes, Tomte, Dasher, Elf
In an attempt to honor Tomten and investigate its molecular basis, ATUM created the Tomten gene. The gene was codon optimized for expression in Reindeer, synthesized and cloned. Constructs successfully expressed the glowing snow of the Tomten.