Executive Leadership Team
Leading-edge science meets seasoned corporate leadership
Chief Executive Officer
Platt comes to Recombinetics following his time as President and CEO of Multistack, LLC, in Sparta, Wis., where he provided strategic long-term direction of the company. Most recently Executive Sales Leader at the Trane, Inc. Midwest sales office, Platt played a role in doubling the organization’s market share in less than two years. He was also Senior Vice President of Business Services for Gundersen Health System from November 2013 to April 2017. In this role, Platt oversaw business development and marketing, government relations, supply chain, facility operations and community wellness initiatives. He has also served on the Gundersen Board of Trustees.
Platt received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. He was also a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force with 17 years of service and held the rank of captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
David Aberle, M.B.A.
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.
Dan Carlson, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Research and 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 ’90s. In pursuit of this interest, Dr. Carlson attended the University of Minnesota where he earned a Ph.D. in Animal Sciences with an emphasis in biotechnology and molecular genetics. The focus of his research is the refinement and application of the 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.
Tad Sonstegard, Ph.D.
Chief Executive and 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 doctorate in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota
David A. Largaespada, Ph.D.
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, Ph.D.
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.
John Burtis, J.D.
Vice President of Legal
Burtis has more than 20 years of experience representing clients in complex transactional, corporate, litigation and intellectual property legal matters. Prior to joining Recombinetics, Burtis held senior in-house legal positions with Medtronic, 3M, Ecolab, and Imation, and practiced with the law firms of Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP and Fish & Richardson P.C. Burtis received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
Adrienne Watson, Ph.D.
Vice President of Research and Development
Dr. Watson completed her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics at the University of Minnesota where she utilized the Sleeping Beauty transposon system to conduct forward genetic screens in mice to uncover novel cancer genes and generated several mouse models of cancer, elucidating novel genetic pathways, and candidates for targeted cancer therapy. After completing her postdoctoral studies at the University of Minnesota, she joined Recombinetics in 2013, where she has led the development of swine models for preclinical drug and device studies and regenerative therapeutics. Her research focuses on applying gene-editing technology to develop swine models of human diseases, with a focus on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as applying this technology for regenerative medicine applications.