The Steering Committee (SC) is the governing body at IMGC, providing leadership and managing the strategic framework and working principles for the consortium. The steering committee guides modifications of the general policies and procedures and partners with the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) on scientific strategy. The SC is composed of one representative from each of the sponsoring members as voting members.
Ron Belldegrun has been an IMGC Steering Committee member since in 2021. Ron is co-founder and CEO of ByHeart, a baby nutrition company that makes evolved foods and formulas along the pregnancy to toddler nourishment continuum. Founded in 2016, ByHeart is dedicated to empowering parents everywhere with feeding choices that build a healthier foundation for their babies’ lives to follow. ByHeart products are crafted with next-to-nature quality, leading nutrition science, and ingredient transparency to sit at the forefront of immune, cognitive, digestive and microbiome health. With ownership of manufacturing and research & development facilities, ByHeart is on track to become the 4th fully-integrated, FDA-registered baby nutrition company in the US. Ron brings over a decade of investing experience in healthcare and infant formula to ByHeart’s innovation. He founded Consumer Health Ventures (CHV), a company that invests in businesses that improve lives. Prior to CHV, Ron spent eight years at Visium Asset Management, a healthcare focused investment fund where he was responsible for a $1B portfolio across Pharmaceutical and Consumer Health investments. He is an active board member of the Vagelos Lifescience and Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania / Wharton. Ron graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Major in Biological Basis of Behavior and a Minor in Healthcare Management in Wharton.
Dr. Shilong Jiang joined the IMGC Steering Committee in 2021. He completed his PhD degree in Dairy Science in 2006 at Hokkaido University in Japan. Dr. Jiang is the Senior Director of Innovation Center at Heilongjiang Feihe Dairy Co., Ltd. in China. He is dedicated to researching and understanding Chinese mothers’ breast milk in order to create infant formula products that are most suitable for Chinese babies. Dr. Jiang has led the innovation team to establish a comprehensive database of the nutritional and bioactive composition of over 20,000 Chinese human milk samples that has been critical for formulating Feihe’s products. Additionally, Dr. Jiang actively engages in collaborative partnerships with leading national and international research institutions to continuously conduct research on infant and adult nutrition. He leads and participates in several national and provincial scientific research projects and has co-authored more than 40 scientific publications and book chapters. Dr. Jiang also serves as a guest professor at Jiangnan University, a guest researcher at Northeast Agricultural University and an industrial supervisor at Dalian Polytechnic University.
Denise Mullinax has been an IMGC Steering Committee member since 2018. She is the executive director of the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), an independent non-profit foundation with a mission to lead and deliver the best research and science-based programs in support of the California dairy industry. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with an undergraduate degree in animal science and a Master’s in agriculture and management. Denise has more than 20 years of experience working with the California dairy sector, holding key education, research, and sustainability management positions within UC Cooperative Extension and Hilmar Cheese Company. Concurrent with her duties at CDRF, she also serves as the assistant director of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP), a position she has held for the past 13 years.
Dr. Wejse has been an IMGC Steering Committee member since 2019 and has participated in annual Symposia since 2013. With 14 years of experience in leading technology transfer and scientific collaboration between universities and industry, Dr. Wejse became the Head of Open Innovation, Universities & Consortia of the dairy cooperative Arla Foods amba in September 2018. In this role he accelerates Arla’s innovation agenda through strong innovation networks with private and public research organizations across the world. Dr. Wejse holds a Master of Science followed by a PhD in Microbial Ecology and Protein Chemistry. Starting from enzymology his carrier has moved through bioactivity of proteins towards nutrition and human health. Building on broad knowledge within science and developing a wide network with the academic world, his current role supports all aspects of application of science through academic collaborations. Dr. Wejse has also played a key role in Arla Food for Health as a Steering Committee member. Arla Food for Health, embraces the vision of discovering the health effects of dairy and dairy ingredients through its public private partnership with the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and Arla Foods Ingredients. He has been deeply involved in shaping the scientific direction for the center and engaged and built collaborative relationships with the universities. Dr. Wejse’s bibliography is publicly available here.