Breaking the bounds of biology.

Our Mission

Tierra exists to empower scientists to identify their next big discovery. 

Scientific discoveries will unlock a sustainable future. However, biology is complex and often difficult to manipulate.  By breaking out of the cell, and using the components of biology in a cell-free system, we want to fundamentally change the way scientists approach discovery. Breaking the bounds of biology will lead to game-changing innovations.


Proteins, enabled by cell-free synthetic biology.

Tierra has been perfecting the science of cell-free systems, starting from technology originally developed at Caltech and backed by DARPA. We deploy automation and SolAI, our learning platform, around proprietary cell-free systems to enable combinatoric protein expression that is completely ex vivo. Three things can be easily varied using Tierra technology that is difficult when using cells:

Sequence variants
Different DNA variants of the input can be produced and expressed in parallel.

Cell-free systems
Tierra has multiple cell-free systems representing the diversity of life, spanning gram-positive, gram-negative, and eukaryotic species.

Known additives to the system, such as cofactors or salts, can be supplemented.

The end product is not only physical protein, but also multiple layers of rich and actionable data that informs the protein expression workflow.


We’re a team of scientists and engineers who are passionate about collaborating on the next innovative scientific discoveries.

Paul Bisesi
Associate Automation Engineer
Brenda Cruz
Associate Scientist
Maria Dona
Lab Manager
Youngha Hwang
Software Engineer
Alexis Jacobs
Associate Product Manager and Customer Specialist
Diana Koulechova, PhD
Sr. Scientist
Richard Mansfield, MSc
Sr. Automation Engineer
Benjamin Mohr, PhD
Bozhena Pokorny
Associate Scientist
Zachary Sun, PhD
Kyle Zolkin
Research Associate

I love working at Tierra because I am encouraged to be my best self while pushing myself to become better. I know I can reach out to anyone for help and they’ll be there to support me.

Alexis Jacobs
Associate Product Manager and Customer Specialist
Board & Partners


Fred Kittler
Orrema Capital
Richard Murray
California Institute of Technology
Zachary Sun
Chief Executive Officer
Corinna Chen
Material Impact


AIChE December 09, 2020

Catalyzing Commercialization: Prototyping A Discovery Pipeline for Enzymes Using Cell-Free Systems

TechCrunch September 11, 2018

As biological manufacturing moves to the mainstream, Synvitrobio rebrands and raises cash

The Economist May 06, 2017

Cell-free biotech will make for better products