Dr. Kara Boltz received her B.S. in Biology with Highest Honors from Georgia Institute of Technology. After working as a research technician and lab manager at Georgia Tech and Texas A&M University, she went on to get her PhD in Biology at Texas A&M. Her dissertation project examined telomere biology and DNA repair in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and Kara developed extensive plant molecular biology and biochemistry experience directly relevant to her work at Soilcea. After receiving her PhD, Kara was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina where she studied epigenetics in fruit flies. She then moved to North Carolina State University to obtain training in genetic pest control. At NCSU Kara designed and evaluated CRISPR/Cas9 gene drive systems to control two agricultural fly pests, Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) and New World Screwworm. She optimized protocols for CRISPR/Cas9 in SWD and gained in depth understanding of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing. Finally, in between her postdoctoral positions, Kara was introduced to the agricultural biotech industry when she interned at Bayer CropScience identifying novel pesticidal proteins from bacteria.