Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer that strives to sustainably transform the quality of life every day for 80 percent of the world with its products and services, has selected Rebecca Lucas to serve as director of research and development (R&D) for its human nutrition and health business unit.

Lucas previously spent 10 years at Kemin, building expertise in the company and its industries through roles in R&D, marketing and strategic acquisition. Since 2018, she has been with MedPharm Iowa—owned by Kemin President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson—where she helped launch the state’s first licensed manufacturer of medical cannabis. As technical development manager, Lucas supported a line of 14 products, advocated for legislation that increased patients’ access to medical cannabis, boosted physician and community outreach efforts, and advanced expansion efforts for MedPharm Iowa outside of the state.

With Lucas’s return to Kemin, she will lead all aspects of discovery research, product development and formulation activities—from conception to commercialization—for Kemin Human Nutrition and Health.

“We are pleased to have Rebecca leading our R&D team as director and are excited to bring her decade of experience in various areas of Kemin to our business unit,” said José Piccolotto, president, Kemin Human Nutrition and Health. “Rebecca’s time at MedPharm Iowa also adds even greater technical and research knowledge of plant derived molecules, which will drive new market innovations for Kemin Human Nutrition and Health. We look forward to seeing where Rebecca takes R&D in the future.”

In her new role, Lucas will establish all scientific and tactical efforts to ensure Kemin Human Nutrition and Health remains at the forefront of research in the nutraceutical industry. She will also be responsible for setting the strategic direction for new product development and commercialization activities within the business unit.

“I am thrilled to be back at Kemin. The company has a great culture of infusing creativity and collaboration into the scientific process,” said Lucas. “Kemin Human Nutrition and Health already has a great base of clinically studied molecules in platforms such as immunity, eye health, sleep and cognition, and I look forward to exploring what new science-backed solutions we can bring to the market to support quality of life for people around the world.”

Lucas received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Iowa State University and Master of Business Administration from Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa.