Chief scientific officer for Vestaron next up in entrepreneurship series

contact: Ashlie Harper Perry
| WMU News
Photo of Robert Kennedy.


KALAMAZOO—The head of scientific research operations at a developer of insecticides produced using spider venom will be the next presenter in a speaker series at Western Michigan University focusing on entrepreneurship.  

Dr. Robert Kennedy, chief scientific officer at Vestaron Corporation, will speak at 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14, in 2150 Schneider Hall, as part of the Haworth College of Business Entrepreneurship Forum. The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-6059 or at Free parking is available in the nearby Fetzer Center parking lot.

Vestaron develops new generation insecticides using natural peptides from spiders, which are suited for agriculture, animal health and specialty non-crop uses. Through the research of spider venom, the company has unraveled the secrets behind producing highly effective toxin-based insecticides that are environmentally benign and harmless to mammals, including humans.

Robert Kennedy

As chief scientific officer, Kennedy is responsible for the research and discovery of new peptide and synthetic developments to maximize the value of Vestaron's spider peptide technology. Prior to his current role, Kennedy served as vice president of research at the company for three years and led his team to an anticipated registration filing with the EPA of its first product. His previous experience also includes scientific leadership positions at Pfizer, Parke-Davis and American Cyanamid and an academic appointment at Columbia University. Kennedy currently serves as an adjunct associate professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan.

2013-14 Entrepreneurship Forum dates and speakers

  • March 14: Amy Proos, owner and CEO of Proos Manufacturing