Scientific Leadership

Biotech Research, Reimagined.

Inspired by the immense unexplored potential of cannabinoids and their implications for medicinal science, the Treehouse core scientific team envisions a more natural, plant-based pharmaceutical paradigm. Our research stays true to a foundation of traditional biotech methods, while seeking untapped promise in non-traditional applications — utilizing both approaches we hope to develop and deliver groundbreaking advancements in the chemistry and biochemistry of cannabinoids.

We are propelled by a core group of intelligent, ambitious PhD scientists, united in the pursuit of responsible research, application, and innovation.

Jake Black, PhD

Founding Partner, Chief Scientific Officer

As CSO, Jacob Black leads a talented Treehouse research and innovation team toward new possibilities for cannabinoid isolation and formulation. An undergraduate of Villanova University, Jake graduated with honors, and later obtained an PhD in Organic Chemistry at Yale University as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. He is the author of multiple papers in the fields of medicinal chemistry and the development of new spectroscopic methods.



“I’ve always been fascinated by the way molecules interact with the brain, and can change an individual’s subjective perception. Take CBD and THC for example – one single bond change at the molecular level completely alters how the brain reacts, and consequently how one’s consciousness perceives the world.”

Robert Davis, PhD

Senior Scientist

Robby is the recipient of a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Vanderbilt University, an MS in both Chemistry and Biochemistry from Villanova University, and a BS in Biology with Honors from James Madison University. Throughout his academic career his research interests and publishing focus ranged from microbiology and ecology to medicinal chemistry and natural product total synthesis.

We have so much to learn about the interactions of human receptors in the body with exogenous microbial and plant metabolites. The interplay of phytocannabinoids with the human endocannabinoid system provides a unique opportunity to better understand human physiology, potentially opening a door to address unmet medical needs.”

Sean Colvin, PhD

Senior Scientist

Born and raised in Colorado, Sean’s career began at the University of Colorado, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biochemistry researching enzyme-activated anti-cancer drugs. His studies ultimately took him to New Haven, CT, where he earned a PhD in organic chemistry from Yale University, focusing chiefly on the development of oxidation methodology using aspartyl-peptide catalysts.

“The cannabinoids are a widely catalogued, but narrowly studied class of compounds. Having the chance to contribute to our understanding of their properties, biological effects, and potential applications is an exciting opportunity with substantial implications.”

Tom Smeltzer, MSc

Senior Scientist

Tom’s chemistry career kicked off with a focus on synthesis of electropolymerizable thiopenes, leading to a BS in chemistry from Hope College. He shares a graduate alma mater with Jake and Sean as the recipient of an MS in chemistry from Yale University. During his time in New Haven, Tom studied β-selective glycosylations of deoxygenated sugars and the synthesis of antimicrobial compounds for drug resistant pathogens.

“There’s appeal in both the possibilities and the challenge. It’s the potential for unexplored therapeutic benefits with seemingly few adverse side effects, coupled with the synthetic challenge to efficiently make family members and analogues.”

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Treehouse Biotech is pioneering scientific advances in the chemistry and biochemistry of cannabinoids. With more than 70 known naturally-occurring cannabinoids, we recognize the immense unexplored potential of this unique class of compounds. Our team of trained organic, analytical, and natural product chemists is able to provide unique and advanced solutions for research and development in the industrial hemp space.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

© 2018 Treehouse Hemp