Dr. Gruys, who joined KGI in July 2016, received his BS degree in Chemistry from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and his PhD in Chemistry (Biochemistry emphasis) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After obtaining his PhD, Dr. Gruys was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Enzyme Research and the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Gruys also completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, CA.
Dr. Gruys joined KGI after 25 years of R&D experience in the private sector working primarily in the area of Agricultural Biotechnology. Examples of new plant traits he and his colleagues discovered and developed during his leadership tenure include oilseeds high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and oil with a high oleic, low polyunsaturated, and saturated fat content similar to olive oil. These traits were obtained through plant metabolic engineering, and the high-value oil generated by these Biotech crops have both consumer and processor benefits. This and other work of Dr. Gruys has resulted in numerous scientific publications, book chapter contributions, and multiple issued patents globally.
Dr. Gruys currently is the Director of the Team Master’s Project, which is the capstone of the KGI Master of Business and Science (MBS) program.
Ursin, V., Froman, B.E., Haas, JA., Nelsen, J.R., Nava, A.J., Martens, A.B., Dressel, A.S., Simmons, J.C., Klopf, G.J., Heise, J.D., Zupec, M.E., Wilkes, R.S., Sanders, E.F., Li, C., Hickman, T., Salvador, S.A., Beiyan, Z., Ruebelt, M.., Ovadya, D.J., Thoma, R.S., Valentin, H.E., Gruys, K.J. (2016) “Transgenic soybean production of stearidonic acid: A sustainable omega-3 vegetable oil for human consumption with enhanced stability and sensory characteristics”, manuscript in preparation.
Oakes, J., Brackenridge, D., Colletti, R., Daley, M., Hawkins, D.J., Xiong, H., Mai, J., Val, D., Screen, S., Lardizabal, K., Gruys, K.J., and Deikman, J. (2011) “Expression of fungal diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 genes to increase kernel oil in maize” Plant Physiology 155, 1146-1157.
Lardizabal, K., Effertz, R., Levering, C., Mai, J., Pedroso, M.C., Jury, T., Aasen, E., Gruys, K., and Bennett, K. (2008) “Expression of Umbelopsis ramannianaDGAT2A in Seed Increases Oil in Soybean” Plant Physiology 148, 89-96.
Valentin, H.E., Lincoln, K., Moshiri, F., Jensen, P.K., Qi, Q., Venkatesh, T.V., Karunanandaa, B., Baszis, S.R., Norris, S.R., Savidge, B., Gruys, K.J., and Last, R.L. (2006) “The Arabidopsis vitamin E pathway gene5-1 mutant reveals a critical role for phytol kinase in seed tocopherol biosynthesis” Plant Cell 18, 212-224.
Karunanandaa, B., Qi, Q., Hao, M., Baszis, S.R., Jensen, P.K., Wong, Y.H., Jiang, J., Venkatramesh, M., Gruys, K.J., Moshiri, F., Post-Beittenmiller, D., Weiss, J.D., and Valentin, H.E. (2005) “Metabolically Engineered Oilseed Crops With Enhanced Seed Tocopherol”, Metabolic Engineering 7, 384 – 400.
Jander, G., Baerson, S.R., Hudak, J.A., Gonzalez, K.A., Gruys, K.J., and Last, R.L. (2003) “Ethylmethanesulfonate Saturation Mutagenesis in Arabidopsis to Determine Frequency of Herbicide Resistance”, Plant Physiology 131, 139-146.
Baerson, S. R., Rodriguez, D.J., Biest, N.A., Tran, M., You, J., Kreuger, R.W., Dill, G.M., Pratley, J.E., and Gruys, K.J. (2002) “Investigating the mechanism of glyphosate resistance in rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) polulation discovered in southern Australia”, Weed Science 50, 721-730.
Poirier, Y., and Gruys, K.J. (2001) “Production of PHAs in Transgenic Plants”, In “Biopolymers, Polyesters – Part A”, (eds Steinbuechel, A., & Doi, Y.), pp. 401-435, Wiley-VCH.
Reiser, S.E., Mitsky, T.A., and Gruys, K.J. (2000) “Characterization and cloning of an R-specific trans-2,3-enoylacyl-CoA hydratase from Rhodospirillum rubrum and use of this enzyme for PHA production in Escherichia coli“, Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.53, 209-218.
Valentin, H.E., Reiser, S., and Gruys, K.J. (2000) “Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) formation from g-aminobutyrate and glutamate” Biotechnol. Bioeng 67, 291-299.
Daae, E.B., Dunnill, P., Mitsky, T.A., Padgette, S.R., Taylor, N.B., Valentin, H.E., and Gruys, K.J. (1999) “Metabolic modelling as a tool for evaluating polyhydroxyalkanoate co-polymer production in plants”, Metabolic Engineering 1, 243-254.
Slater, S., Mitsky, T.A., Houmiel, K.L., Hao, M., Rieser, S.E., Taylor, N.B., Tran, M., Valentin, H.E., Rodriguez, D.J., Stone, D.A., Padgette, S.R., Kishore, G., and Gruys, K.J. (1999) “Metabolic engineering of Arabidopsis and Brassica for poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) copolymer production”, Nature Biotech.17, 1011-1016.
Gruys, K.J., and Sikorski, J.A. (1999) “Inhibitors of Tryptophan, Phenylalanine and Tyrosine Biosynthesis as Herbicides”, In “Plant Amino Acids: Biochemistry and Biotechnology”, (ed Singh, B.), pp. 357-384, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, NY.
Slater, S., Houmiel, K.L, Tran, M., Mitsky, T.A., Taylor, N.B., Padgette, S.R., and Gruys, K.J. (1998) “Multiple b-Ketothiolases Mediate Poly(b-Hydroxyalkanoate) Copolymer Synthesis in Ralstonia eutropha“, J. Bacteriol.180, 1979-1987.
Gruys, K.J., and Sikorski, J.A. (1998) “Phosphoenolpyruvate as an Electrophile: Carboxyvinyl Transfer Reactions”, In “Comprehensive Biological Catalysis; A Mechanistic Reference”, (ed Sinnott, M.), pp. 273-291, Academic Press: London.
Patents (US issued & pending only) – 8
Scientific Papers – 42
Book Chapters and Reviews – 4
Abstracts and Meeting Contributions – over 50
Invited Talks and Seminars – over 50