Success Story

October 10, 2019   I   Jola Glotzer

MicroMGx, a CBC university spinoff, to collaborate with Corteva Agriscience

Chicago-based biotech company MicroMGx, co-founded by CBC Senior Investigator Neil Kelleher, NU, will share its metabologenomics expertise with Corteva Agriscience in joined efforts to develop novel microbial-based crop protection products

Neil Kelleher, NU

The CBC is pleased to share news of a collaboration between MicroMGx and Corteva! As stated in the Oct. 8th Press Release, MicroMGx will “bring exciting new technology to the world’s crop protection industry.” The company’s metabologenomics platform was developed through a collaboration between research groups at NU’s Chemistry of Life Processes Institute and UIUC’s Institute for Genomic Biology.

Originally named Microbial Pharmaceuticals, MicroMGx was co-founded in 2015 by NU Professors Neil Kelleher and Regan Thomson and UIUC Professor William Metcalf. Another NU affiliate, Anthony Goering, who is the Chief Scientific Officer of MicroMGx, helped to develop metabologenomics — now one of MicroMGx’s core technologies — while working in Kelleher’s lab as a graduate student. Following receipt of NIH SBIR, MicroMGx began its operations in 2017.

Kelleher is the Walter and Mary Elizabeth Glass Professor of Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences, and Medicine at NU. He is also recognized as a CBC Senior Investigator due to his recruitment to NU in 2010 with help from the CBC Recruitment Resources Funds Award. Kelleher is also director of Northwestern Proteomics, an NU-based facility that has evolved from the Proteomics Center of Excellence (PCE), which was originally established with the CBC support. Kelleher’s additional CBC awards and community contributions are listed below the article. The CBC is proud to have played a role in Kelleher’s recruitment and to have helped support his research over the years. Now, we join in congratulating him and his colleagues at MicroMGx, for building another great and successful biotechnology company in Chicago!

October 8, 2019  |  Corteva Agriscience Press Release  |  Kacey Birchmier

Corteva, MicroMGx Collaborate to Accelerate the Development Microbial-Based Crop Protection Products

Latest in Series of Steps to Expand Corteva Agriscience’s Leading Natural Products Portfolio

Corteva, MicroMGx Collaborate to Accelerate the Development Microbial-Based Crop Protection Products

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Oct. 8, 2019 — Corteva Agriscience and MicroMGx today announced a collaboration that aims to provide farmers a wider range of novel, microbial-based crop protection products.

Under the agreement, MicroMGx will apply its metabologenomics platform to accelerate the identification of new natural product starting points. In a first for the agriculture industry, Corteva will use those starting points to discover and develop naturally derived crop protection solutions. Metabologenomics modernizes natural product discovery by fusing genomics and mass-spectrometry data in a way that facilitates more targeted molecule identification.

Farmers worldwide already rely on products developed by Corteva using spinosyns, active ingredients produced by naturally fermenting soil bacteria, to protect crops from insect damage. The newest of these is Inatreq™ active, a new active ingredient that helps control fungus in wheat and bananas.

“With 20-plus years of leadership in green chemistry, Corteva Agriscience has a long and successful track record of discovering natural and naturally derived products,” said Neal Gutterson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Corteva Agriscience. “We are excited to collaborate with MicroMGx to explore novel approaches for speeding up the process of discovering the next generation of innovative crop protection solutions.”

“We believe in our platform’s potential to uncover impactful new crop-protection products. We’re enthusiastic to be partnering with Corteva Agriscience because of their strong portfolio of natural and naturally derived products,” said Anthony Goering, Chief Scientific Officer of MicroMGx.

MicroMGx part of a Midwest collaboration to bring exciting new technology to the world’s crop protection industry. Its metabologenomics platform was developed through a collaboration between research groups at Northwestern University’s Chemistry of Life Processes Institute and the University of Illinois’ Institute for Genomic Biology.

About MicroMGx, Inc.

MicroMGx, established in 2015, is a life sciences company dedicated to making high-throughput natural product discovery achievable. Through MicroMGx, pharmaceutical, animal health, and agriculture companies will have easy access to new natural products to fill their discovery pipelines. The MicroMGx laboratory is located at the University Technology Park at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Visit to learn more.

About Corteva Agriscience

Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry – including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at

Adapted (with modifications) from Corteva Agriscience Press Release, by Kacey Birchmier, announced on October 8, 2019.

Featured CBC Community member(s):

Neil Kelleher, NU


October 7, 2019
▸ Of cocaine and estrogen
Or, why women are more susceptible than men to develop cocaine addiction — two CBC community members Neil Kelleher and Paul Thomas, NU, help to elucidate in a recent Journal of Proteome Research publication

October 1, 2019
▸ Ordering proteoforms
In a recent issue of Nature Methods, CBC Senior Investigator Neil Kelleher, NU, proposes a five-level classification system for proteoform identifications

August 6, 2019
▸ New oncogenic driver discovered
A CBC Lever Award plus a quartet of CBC awardees: Jon Oyer, Jonathan Licht and Neil Kelleher, NU, and Alex Ruthenburg, UChicago, contribute to a recent Cancer Discovery publication

July 8, 2019
▸ Defining the NSD2 interactome
Two CBC Awardees, Jonathan Licht and Neil Kelleher, identify posttranslational modification crosstalk that may play a role in carcinogenesis

July 8, 2019
▸ New insight into liver cancer treatment
CBC Awardee Rick Silverman and a CBC Senior Investigator, Neil Kelleher, NU, collaborate on developing therapeutics for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)

June 17, 2019
▸ Copper centers revealed with top-down mass spectrometry
Three CBC Awards contribute to today’s publication in Nature Communications!

May 13, 2019
▸ Battling epigenetic lymphomas
CBC Senior Investigator Neil Kelleher, NU, contributes to a new publication identifying a potential novel therapeutic pathway to treat the so called EZH2 dysregulated lymphomas

May 7, 2019
▸ Proteoforms explained
A recent review in Proteomics, co-authored by a CBC Senior Investigator and proteomics expert, Neil Kelleher, NU

August 9, 2018
▸ Top-down Proteomics
CBC Senior Investigator, Neil Kelleher, NU, explains the advantages of “top-down” versus “bottom-up” proteomics in early cancer detection and progression

April 25, 2018
▸ Using ‘top-down proteomics,’ CBC Senior Investigator, Neil Kelleher, NU, identifies and precisely measures eleven KRAS oncogene proteoforms found in colon cancer cells

March 28, 2018
▸ New insights into the mechanism of methane metabolism by copper-binding bacteria revealed in a study from the Rosenzweig lab and CBC Senior Investigator, Neil Kelleher, NU

March 26, 2018
▸ New, cell-free protein manufacturing methodology, developed by Michael Jewett’s NU team and supported by CBC funding, could have important implications in biomedicine and beyond

November 23, 2017
▸ CBC’s mission of collaboration embraced through inter-institutional teaching and mentoring. Featuring Northwestern’s Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP) Predoctoral Training Program.

November 13, 2017
▸ New insights into regulation of gene expression: work from the Shilatifard lab (NU) with contributions from two CBC scientists, Neil Kelleher and Jeffrey Savas.

October 5, 2017
▸ CBC Senior Investigator, Neil Kelleher, NU, deciphers molecular assembly of a gut toxin, colibactin

February 9, 2016
▸ “Clasping” Collaboration
Three CBC Scientists Join Forces to Develop Exceptional-Quality Antibodies Displaying an Unprecedented Mode of Action