Scientific Advisory Board

Mary Ann Lila

agricultural & plant health advisor


Ph.D., Plant Biology, University of Wisconsin

M.S., Plant Pathology, University of Illinois

B.S., Horticultural Sciences, University of Illinois

Prior Roles

Director, Plants for Human Health Institute, NC State University

Cofounder, Global Institute for BioExploration, Rutgers University

Professor, University of Illinois

Through ground-breaking, transdisciplinary discovery and outreach, Mary Ann Lila and her team of faculty at the PHHI pioneer a dramatic shift in the way the American public views and uses food crops – not merely as a source of nutrients and flavorful calories, but as a powerful resource for components that protect and enhance human health.  

Integrated research in metabolomics, biochemistry, pharmacogenomics, molecular breeding, regenerative medicine, translational food science and nutrition and postharvest are aimed at development and promotion of mainstream fruit and vegetable produce with enhanced health benefits, and introduction of new or underappreciated crops and products from various sites throughout the globe, allowing consumers to make proactive, responsible dietary choices that benefit their own, and their families’ health.  

Dr. Lila is currently a co-Director of an ambitious public-private Plant Pathways Elucidation Project (P2EP) which synergizes the talents of academia and industry, and is co-PI of an ambitious Seedings Solutions project funded by the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research, which centers on elucidating the individualized nutritional outcomes to interventions, based on individual microbiome profiles and metagenomics.

Luke Burnett

skin science & military industry advisor


Ph.D., Neurobiology & Anatomy, Wake Forest University

M.A., Strategic Studies, US Army War College

B.A., Psychology, Sonoma State University

Prior Roles

Chief Scientific Officer, Keratin Biosciences Inc.

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wake Forest University

Luke Burnett is the Chief Science Officer at Keratin Biosciences and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Wake Forest School of Medicine.  

Dr. Burnett has worked in the field of biomaterials for over a decade with a focus on product development of keratin biomaterial applications to wound healing and tissue engineering.  

Dr. Burnett has an extensive funding history where he has been the PI or Co-I on more than 27 federally-funded grants from agencies such as CDMRP, DoD, NIH and BARDA in the last 8 years.  Dr. Burnett has published research using trauma models in multiple species published in major scientific journals, and filed 7 patents on the work conducted in his lab.  


Dr. Burnett recently retired as a Colonel from the US Army where he served 27 years, including two tours in Iraq.