Cheryl Vickroy, MBA

President & CEO

Image of Cheryl Vickroy, MBA

Cheryl Vickroy leads the development of strategy and acquisition of funding for AmebaGone.  Cheryl is an experienced entrepreneur and a recognized expert in technology commercialization. She founded and served as CEO of Staff Management Systems in 2007. Vickroy played key, early-stage roles at Cellular Dynamics and Stem Cell Products (merged 2008, IPO 2013) and Genetic Assemblies Inc. (acquired 2005). 

From 2010-2014 she served as Director of the Center for Technology Commercialization where she created and implemented programs for research-based small business and led efforts to acquire over $60M in federal SBIR/STTR funding for clients across WI.  She has personally assisted many dozens of firms to assess feasibiilty of their innovations, to acquire over $35M in federal and equity funding and to develop successful commercial strategies.

Cheryl served twice as a mentor in the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps), leading teams to rapidly and accurately assess the market risk of novel technologies. She teaches Technology Commercialization in the Master of Science in Biotechnology Program at the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, she served in a leadership role for a nationwide association where she managed over $20M in assets and led a staff of 54.

Marcin Filutowicz, Ph.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Image of Marcin Filutowicz, Ph.D.Dr. Marcin Filutowicz, founded AmebaGone, Inc. in 2010 to commercialize a novel technology based upon the unique potential of free-living professional phagocytes (Dictyostelids or Dicty), found in soil and many other environments worldwide, to combat disease-causing microbes in affecting plants, water quality and human health. 

Dr. Filutowicz and Katarzyna Borys from the Bacteriology Department of University of Wisconsin-Madison conceived the core technology. The inventors have assigned title for their work to AmebaGone and have executed a license to a collection of source material amassed by Dr. Kenneth Raper (also UW-Madison) with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).  Filutowicz has developed biocontrol countermeasures to reduce infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria since 1999. Dr. Filutowicz is a serial innovator, having co-founded ConjuGon Inc. in 2001 after inventing its technology. ConjuGon (now Atterx Biotherapeutics) is developing therapeutics to treat human bacterial infections. ConjuGon raised over $18M to advance its technology and is currently in Phase III clinical trials.

Dr. Filutowicz is a Professor of Bacteriology at University of Wisconsin-Madison where he joined the faculty in 1987 and has since been continuously funded. He received his Ph.D from the Polish Academy of Sciences.

In alphabetical order: Chad Hall, Ph.D., MBA

Senior Scientist

Image of In alphabetical order:  Chad Hall, Ph.D., MBADr. Chad Hall, PhD, MBA joined Amebagone in 2016.  He completed a BS in Genetics at University of Wisconsin-Madison followed by graduate training in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.  His thesis focused on the identification of novel tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes through genome-wide screening in Drosophila. He discovered the Hippo pathway effector, Yap, is a potent ovarian cancer oncogene in flies and humans.  During his PhD training he also earned an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship from the Jones School of Business at Rice University, also in Houston.  Chad went on to complete postdoctoral training in Oncology in the laboratory of Dr. Jeremy Graff at Eli Lilly and Co.  His work focused on developing a deeper understanding of the mechanism of action of targeted therapies in order to identify and ultimately preselect patients who are more likely to benefit from the therapy.  Here he gained a broad understanding of both the scientific and business aspects of the drug development process.  He then joined Centrose as a Senior Scientist where he led very successful efforts to determine mechanism of action, patient tailoring strategy, and drug combination strategy of their extracellular drug conjugates (EDCs) to guide clinical development.

Sarah Himmerich, M.S.

Research Specialist

Image of Sarah Himmerich, M.S.

Sarah holds a master’s degree in biotechnology from Boston University. She has over 11 years experience in research and industry. Her prior work in biocontrol includes investigating baculoviruses as biopesticides while at American Cyanamid.  Following from this work she was included on several patents involving improved methods for producing cell growth media. She served as an associate scientist at Berlex Biosciences before moving into vaccines and diagnostics, first at Novartis, and then at United Vaccines.  Her efforts there included process development work to improve assays and investigation of methods to scale-up cell culture production.

Erika Sayuri Naruzawa, Ph.D.


Image of Erika Sayuri Naruzawa, Ph.D.

Dr. Erika Naruzawa joined the AmebaGone team as a Scientist in 2015 to develop and commercialize Dicty spores in the biological control of plant pathogens in 2015. She has more than 12 years of experience in phytopathology and mycology, working in tropical and temperate environments. Erika received her undergraduate degree in Agronomy and her Masters in Phytopathology in Brazil. After moving to Canada, Dr. Naruzawa obtained her PhD. in Forest pathology/Fungal genetics from Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada. There, she studied the molecular mechanisms involved in the dimorphism of Dutch elm disease pathogens. During this course of study, she received fungal genetics training at Université de Paris Sud in Paris, France, allowing her to develop the fungal gene knock-out technique of a Dutch elm disease pathogen. Additionally, Dr. Naruzawa has worked with many pathogenetic systems including cucurbits powdery mildew, grape rust and Barbados cherry diseases, always focusing her efforts on finding methods to control phytopathogens in these plants.  Erika is tri-lingual, and has previously worked in Brazil for the state of Sao Paulo government in seed pathology of agricultural crops.