Fatma Kaplan is a Cohort 2021 Fellow in the Cyclotron Road Division. She is the CEO and chief science officer of Pheronym and has a background in both biology and chemistry. While earning a Ph.D. in plant molecular and cellular biology, she identified the role of beta-amylase and maltose during cold and heat shock. As a post-doc, she was trained in natural product chemistry with a focus on isolating biologically active compounds. She discovered the first Caenorhabditis elegans sex pheromone and published it in Nature in 2008. Then she discovered that pheromones regulate other behaviors in both parasitic and beneficial nematodes. She conducted the first agricultural biocontrol experiment in space at the International Space Station in 2020.
Project: Effective, Sustainable Bio-control