Keith Sollers and Dr. Beatriz Martínez López
Keith Sollers and Dr. Beatriz Martínez López

Applying Tech Innovation to Improve Animal Health

The UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health announced two new Innovator Fellows for Spring 2019, including Keith Sollers. He is utilizing machine learning techniques to improve precision epidemiology for livestock with Dr. Beatriz Martínez López, associate professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, and director of the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance (CADMS) at UC Davis.

Sollers is a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Mathematics, where he is currently working to develop effective analytical methods, prediction models, and decision tools for detecting and mitigating swine diseases such as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome. 

Before joining the doctoral program, Sollers worked in IT security and risk management for over a decade with PwC and Ernst & Young, collectively. Previously, he received his MSc in Computer Science at Cornell University and his BS in Electrical Engineering at UC Davis.

As part of his fellowship, international agrifood information and communications technology investors at Better Food Ventures will host a three-month residency in Silicon Valley for Sollers to gain real-world experience in the process of landscaping and vetting food, agriculture, and health startups. He will have the balance of the year to then develop a product, process or technology through to commercialization.

“Through my participation in the Innovator Fellowship program I hope to understand the key obstacles to success that can arise in the animal health industry,” Sollers said.

In the Silicon Valley, Sollers will be exposed to vertical applications and essential entrepreneurial insights about what it takes to bring a concept to market and succeed. He trusts that “working with Better Food Ventures will help provide the missing link of experience, domain knowledge, and further connections that will contribute to a successful startup.”

This article first appeared on the website for the UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health.


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