Associate Company Spotlight: Van Heron Labs


What is the name of your company?  Van Heron Labs

Who founded the company? Current C.E.O. Dr. Rebecca Vaught, but then co-founders Alec Santiago and Nithin Parsan joined soon after.

When and where was the company founded? In Houston in the Texas Medical Center. Specifically, the company was founded in Enventure’s Bioventure’s program/incubator in January 2020. Our first lab was built in a living room in a house adjacent to the TMC.

What is the company’s vision and mission? To build a bio-platform capable of tackling some of the world’s hardest challenges and fuel the new bioeconomy.

How did you get your idea, concept or technology for your company? The technological engine behind Van Heron Labs combines Rebecca’s multi-disciplinary background and training. The light bulb moment for the technology occurred in 2017 while Rebecca was in graduate school and started as a new way to culture microbes, but now Van Heron Labs deploys the technology across all organisms and cell types.

What is unique about your company or technology? Everything. Van Heron Labs is the only company using genetic information to define optimal nutrient profiles for a bio-system and beneficially reprogram metabolism. Eventually, this will be an entire category of company in the future, but right now Van Heron Labs is the first. Van Heron Labs is also a bio-platform, a new type of life-science/biotechnology venture, where the underlying technology can be used for myriad purposes, not just a single product, and is industry agnostic. It’s really countless businesses rolled into one.

How many employees does your company currently employ? Technically only one full time employee, but considering consultants and interns, our total team is 10 people.

Where do you see your company in 5 (10 or 20) years? Hopefully, with more than one full time employee and a larger lab space! Van Heron Labs will most likely be in it for the long haul until we explore all of the uses of the tech and push the boundaries of what we think it can achieve.

What made you choose to locate your company at HudsonAlpha? We formed a strategic partnership with resident company, Foresight Biosciences, however, other things that won us over included that: the economic development and leadership teams are exceptional, onboarding was easy, it’s affordable and the cost of doing business in Alabama is low – plus there are other tax and financial incentives that are unique from other states. We also love the culture of the campus and its residents and employees.


Learn more about Van Heron Labs at