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Shannon Nangle, PhD, Co-founder and CEO of Circe

Circe is part of a manufacturing revolution, transforming CO2, water, and electricity into diverse products, from food to fuel, using precision fermentation. Initially focusing on triglycerides—key in foods, cosmetics, fuels—Circe's method emphasizes efficient resource use with minimal environmental impact. Their approach is deeply rooted in quantifying sustainability as resource efficiency—how to efficiently turn ubiquitous raw materials into the most products with the smallest environmental footprint—a response to the urgent need to continue to support a growing and developing world while removing, not just reducing, greenhouse gasses. By using carbon dioxide, this technology offers a double benefit: decarbonizing while producing essential products.

Lab-to-Launch Lounge

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Shannon Nangle, PhD, an MIT Tech Review Innovator Under 35, is co-founder and CEO of Circe. Her work aligns with the mission of creating more while wasting less. Shannon has been building out the technology for the past six years. Circe spun out of her postdoc research while in Pam Silver’s lab at Harvard, where she focused on engineering microbes, building electrochemistry rigs, and customizing fermentation systems. She was drawn to the Silver lab for the track record of using microbes for industrial and environmental applications. Prior to joining the lab, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington where she studied crystallography and structural biology of protein complexes. When she is not looking at protein structures and planning fermentation scale-ups, Shannon indulges in surrealist cinema, absurdist literature, is an active member of the small (but growing!) biotech for space community, and upon Voltaire's suggestion, tends to her own garden.

One piece of advice to Venturing@Harvard

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is "get it in writing" and "it's not over until it's in the bank."


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