Nick Duck received his training in Biochemistry at the University of Maryland (BS, 1986) and University of Missouri (MS, 1988; PhD, 1992). Duck has led research programs in biochemistry and molecular biology while at Monsanto, Ceiba Geigy, Novartis, and Dupont. In 2001, Duck, along with several colleagues founded Athenix, a research company focused on the discovery of genes and chemistries for agricultural specialty chemical, and chemical feedstock bioconverisons. Athenix was acquired by Bayer in 2009, in a transaction valued in excess of $400 Million USD. Duck continued with Bayer for two years leading the research efforts of ~100 scientists and staff at Bayer’s Innovation Center near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Currently, he is funding the research and business activities of Avertica. Duck has more than 50 patents and numerous scientific publications to his credit.