REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. — John D. York, PhD, has been named chief science officer at Impossible Foods, effective Jan. 4. In his new role, Dr. York will serve on Impossible Foods’ senior leadership team and oversee research and development and product innovation. He will report directly to Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD, founder and chief executive officer of Impossible Foods.

A former investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Dr. York has led the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University since 2012. His team paved the way for discoveries in protein structure and function, cell signaling and molecular genetics.

He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a doctorate degree in molecular cell biology and biochemistry from Washington University in St. Louis.

“Throughout his career, John has contributed to discoveries in biochemistry thanks to his curiosity and risk tolerance,” Dr. Brown said. “Just as important, he’s a proven and strong mentor and team leader. I’m confident that John will make an immediate, positive contribution and quickly become an inspiring role model within our expanding R&D team.”

Dr. York’s hiring comes less than two months after Impossible Foods unveiled plans to dedicate a significant portion of the $700 million it has raised this year to ramp up its R&D team. Adding more scientists to its team is part of a broader initiative at the company to expand its multifaceted technology platform and accelerate product development over the next 12 months.