Marcin Filutowicz, Ph.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

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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.

Jim Vann, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer and Senior Scientist II

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Dr. Jim Vann, Ph.D. joined Amebagone in 2018 with over 25 years of experience managing university and biotech company medical research laboratories. Most recently Jim served as Senior Scientist and Chief Operations Manager at Lifegen technologies, while remaining deeply involved in laboratory experimentation. He has decades of experience studying various mouse models involving infectious disease and diet effects on gene expression and biochemical functions He received his Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for studies of persistent Staphylococcus aureus infections in a cell culture model.

Amy Jancewicz, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

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Dr. Amy Jancewicz, Ph.D., joined Amebagone to contribute understanding of plant growth behaviors and the molecular mechanisms that govern them.  Amy received her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a 2007 graduate of the University of Connecticut-Storrs with a BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology and BA in Sociology, she has nearly a decade of experience studying plant growth behaviors and those molecular mechanisms that govern them.

Courtney Trinastic

Research Specialist

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Courtney Trinastic joined Amebagone in 2017.  She holds a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  While studying for her degree, she worked in Dr. Marcin Filutowicz’s lab in the Department of Bacteriology at UW-Madison where she led a project to revive a source collection of Dicty along with researching interactions between Dicty and various biofilms. She also mentored several undergraduate students. She previously worked in the Biosafety Department at UW-Madison approving grants and amendments to lab protocols.

Kristi Freibergs


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Kristi Freibergs joined Amebagone as a lab technician in 2017 to work on revitalizing a source collection of Dicty.  She currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is working toward her B.S. in Microbiology. While working in Dr. Marcin Filutowicz’s lab at the Department of Bacteriology in UW-Madison, Kristi contributed to the revitalization of a second Dicty collection and mentored several undergraduate students. Additionally, she researched the development of Dicty during their predation of bacteria.