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Nicholas Sarai is the co-founder and chief science officer of Huminly, a startup developing enzyme technologies to infinitely recycle textile waste. Sarai received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Caltech under Professor Frances Arnold. His doctoral work focused on enzymatic degradation of man-made compounds, including engineering the first enzyme capable of cleaving silicon-carbon bonds. Before Caltech, Sarai studied hyperthermophilic cellulases at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and received his B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Denver.

Over 100 million tons of textile waste are produced each year globally, yet less than one percent of this is recycled back into textiles. This is because existing recycling methods cannot handle textiles’ interwoven, multi-material nature. Huminly develops enzymes that can turn textile waste back into high-quality inputs for textile production over and over again.