Executive Leadership Team

Leading-edge science meets seasoned corporate leadership

Scott C. Fahrenkrug, PhD

Founder, Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Scott Fahrenkrug is an academic, inventor, entrepreneur and internationally recognized expert in food animal genetics, genomics, and advanced gene-editing technologies. His laboratories produce an ever-growing portfolio of intellectual property and world “firsts”, including the first development and application of site-specific endonucleases for editing animal genomes using TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9. Dr. Fahrenkrug has been instrumental in introducing the “Functional Genomics” paradigm, which maps, monitors and modifies food animal genetics to determine the “how, when, where and why” of gene function.

Dr. Fahrenkrug earned a Ph.D. in molecular, cellular, development biology and genetics from the University of Minnesota where he became a professor in the Department of Animal Science, and a member of the University’s Center for Genome Engineering, Stem Cell Institute and Masonic Cancer Center.

He is the co-founder of the Spring Point Project, a non-profit company focused on xenotransplantation to treat diabetes.

Ian R. Friendly

Chief Executive Officer

Friendly comes to Recombinetics with 30+ years of executive leadership and retail experience with General Mills, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Retail, which is the largest segment of General Mills. Friendly currently is on the Board of Valspar, serving on the Governance Committee and Chairing the Compensation Committee. Mr. Friendly is also a member of the Board of American Public Media Group and Minnesota Public Radio, having also chaired that Board for 3 years. Previously, Friendly served as CEO of Cereal Partners Worldwide, a joint venture based in Lausanne. As CEO of Recombinetics, Friendly is preparing the Company for new commercial opportunities and global product expansion with strategic partners. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Queen’s University.

Tammy Lee Stanoch, MBA

Chief Corporate Affairs Officer

Stanoch has more than 15 years of experience in corporate affairs and, as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, will lead the company’s government and regulatory affairs; marketing and communications; and human resource functions. Prior to joining Recombinetics, Stanoch served as Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company; Vice President of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the University of Minnesota Foundation; and Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Delta Air Lines.

David Aberle, MBA

Chief Financial Officer & Vice President of Finance

Aberle comes to Recombinetics with 20 years of experience in financial and strategic management including six years in the medical device industry at AGA Medical Corporation (now part of St. Jude Medical) where he served as Interim Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Controller, Treasurer and other key financial leadership roles.  His expertise includes leading implementation of financial, operational and human capital systems during times critical to a company’s success. He earned a Masters of Business Administration and a Mini Masters of Medical Technology from the University of St. Thomas, and has. obtained his CPA and CTP credentials.


Tom Erdmann

General Manager of Acceligen

With 35 years of experience in the agriculture and food ingredient industry, Erdmann has demonstrated excellence in leading operations, strategy and sales in a variety of executive roles with Cargill’s Food and Trading businesses. In addition, Erdmann was instrumental in developing strategic partnerships and alliances with biotech and food technology organizations. He has engineered numerous customer centric growth strategies for engaging global food companies. As the General Manager of Acceligen, Erdmann will join Chief Scientific Officer Tad Sonstegard, in the pursuit of developing and delivering genetic innovations that improve animal health and welfare and deliver productivity traits to animal agriculture globally.

Doug Kern, DVM, MS

General Manager of Surrogen

With more than 20 years experience in the animal health industry and business development, Doug has held several executive roles in life science and animal health companies, most recently as VP of Global Clinical Development with Plumbline Life Sciences. In the last 15 years, he has developed and registered pioneering DNA therapies for food and companion animals. As General Manager of Surrogen, Kern will apply his wide-ranging expertise in the pursuit of groundbreaking genetic technologies and large animal models to greatly accelerate the discovery of new drugs and medical devices that eliminate human diseases and improve the quality of health. Kern earned his DVM from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s Degree at the University of Illinois in the Integrated Food Animal Management Systems (IFAMS) and a Certificate in Business Management form the Harvard Business School.

Tad Sonstegard, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer of Acceligen

Dr. Tad Sonstegard is an internationally recognized leader in livestock genetics with more than 20 years of experience in the field. Tad has made seminal contributions to the sequencing of livestock genomes, development of industry-standard genetic diagnostic platforms and elucidation of the genetic basis for traits impacting food animal health, production and well-being. Prior to joining the Recombinetics team, Tad developed and led federally funded projects in applied genomics for ruminant genetic improvement at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Animal Genomics & Improvement Laboratory. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Biochemistry from Iowa State University and a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota.

David A. Largaespada, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer of Surrogen

Dr. Largaespada is a leading authority on mouse genetics, gene modification, cancer genes and disease models. His expertise guides the science behind Recombinetics’ biomedical subsidiary, Surrogen. He is currently a Full Professor in two departments at the University of Minnesota, where he earned the prestigious American Cancer Society Research Professor Award in 2013. Additionally, he is Associate Director for Basic Research in the University’s Masonic Cancer Center. Dr. Largaespada has published over 135 scientific articles, many in the world’s highest-impact journals such as Science, Nature and Nature Genetics

Walter Low, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer of Regenevida

Dr. Walter Low is a leader in neuroscientific research and bioengineering. He’s a professor and Director of the Research Laboratories in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota. He earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Michigan, and was a National Science Foundation/NATO Fellow in Neurophysiology/Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in England. .

Dr. Low was formerly on the faculty at Indiana University School of Medicine where he was the Director of the Graduate Program in Physiology and Biophysics. He has served as a member of numerous grant review study sections for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Veterans Administration Medical Centers.

Justin Zenanko, CPA

Vice President of Investor Relations & Business Development

Justin Zenanko is an established CPA with expertise in tax accounting and investment funding. Justin began his accounting career with Myslajek, Ltd., where he practiced in the areas of audit, review, compilation, and taxation. He holds multiple Bachelor of Arts degrees in Accounting, Economics, and Marketing.

David R. Brown, MD, FACE

Vice President of Biomedicine

Dr. Brown is a staff physician at Childrens’ Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and in practice at Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Minneapolis.  He has served as a member of the clinical faculty at the University of Minnesota, Department of Pediatrics. He was educated at Ripon College, the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan. He completed a fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology and a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral research fellowship in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Additional research fellowships were at the Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark and the Institute for Molecular Biology, Cambridge University.

Dan Carlson, PhD

VP of Development

Dr. Carlson is a “farm kid” from southwestern Minnesota who took an interest in biotechnology when his family began planting GM crops in the 90’s. In pursuit of this interest, Dr. Carlson attended the University of Minnesota where he earned a PhD in Animal Sciences with an emphasis in biotechnology and molecular genetics. The focus of his research is the refinement and application of methodology for genetic engineering in livestock. Through his 13 years in biotechnology research, Carlson has led the development of transposon systems and gene-editing technology in livestock. At Recombinetics he directs the application of gene-editing to develop products while continuing to innovate in the field of genome engineering and develop intellectual property.