Meet Our Family

We bring together industry leading experts and parents to deliver the next generation of baby formula.

Wendel Afonso

Founder & CEO

Del Afonso has been in the baby nutrition space for over 15 years, as a researcher, entrepreneur, and baby nutrition expert, treating thousands of babies with special dietary restrictions. He has experience bringing new nutrition compounds through the regulatory systems and into the market. Now, equipped with an MBA from MIT and a thriving biotechnology environment, he is using all of his experience to bring biotechnology into the foodspace and introduce human breast milk proteins into the baby nutrition industry. Due to Del’s efforts, Harmony is quickly becoming a reality and creating a nutrition solution that parents like himself can trust.

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Dr. Neil Schauer


Neil is an expert in all things concerning recombinant protein technology. He has over 35 years experience serving as an executive scientist in many of the top pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer/Hospira, Biogen, Avaxia, Millipore and Genetics Institute. Dr. Neil specializes in strain development and regulatory compliance, and has passed multiple compounds that he has developed onto FDA approval. 

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Dr. Julia Robert

Upstream and Downstream Bioprocess Engineer

With a PhD in biochemistry from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a thesis focused on bioprocess optimization, Julia is a bioprocess engineer with eight years experience improving proteins production in all stages of our process, using strain development as tool, scaling up production and ensuring protein purification.

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Dr. Robert DiGregorio

Head of Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Robert has 40+ years of executive experience in regulatory affairs and healthcare. He is well versed in the regulatory environment surrounding infant nutrition, as he was the Global Head of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs at Nestle Nutrition and the VP of Regulatory Affairs at Pfizer. Before that, he started his medical career with 12 years of OB-GYN practice and then working in the Women’s Health Therapuetic Area of Wyeth Pharmaceutical. Robert is the father of four children, and he brings a unique medical, clinical, scientific, research and human perspective to Harmony and infant feeding.

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Dr. Mariana Souza

Infant Formulation and Regulatory Compliance Specialist

Dr. Mariana is one of the leading scientists in infant nutrition and is working on the front lines to create Harmony’s infant formulas. With a Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology and over a decade of experience working in baby nutrition development from routine formulas to complex specialty formulas for babies with genetic diseases and regulatory compliance, Mariana has a deep understanding of all the ingredients in infant formula and is essential to create a formula that is both extremely healthy for infants and set up for regulatory approval.

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Dr. Victoria Martin

Advisor, Pediatric Food Allergy and Clinical Trial Specialist

Dr. Tori, is one of the world’s leading experts in pediatric food allergy and GI issues, as well as a master of clinical trials. She is serving as the Co-Director for the Food Allergy Center at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and is a professor at Harvard Medical School. She is ensuring that Harmony is beneficial for even the most challenging dietary restrictions as well as designing the clinical trials to scientifically prove Harmony’s effectiveness.

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Dr. Raphaëlle O’Connor

Advisor, Product Development

Raphaëlle is expert guidance in all aspects of our formula production, from helping create the initial formulation and sourcing the ingredients, to combining them into a complete formula and scaling up, to gaining regulatory approval and bringing Harmony to market. In addition to her PhD in Food Science from University College Cork, she has over 20 years experience in infant formula and maternal product development and operations leadership.

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Mark Warner

Advisor, Expert in Commercialization of Biotechnologies

Mark has 30 years experience as an industry leader of commercialization and scale up of new biotechnologies. As the former Chief Engineering Officer of Impossible Foods, he is always trying to innovate the food space and remove the need for animal products. Mark is essential in increasing the volumetric productivity of Harmony’s microflora.

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Charlotte Michailidis

Advisor, Parenthood Technologies

As the Founder and CEO of Parenthood Ventures, and a mom of two – including a child with dairy triggered EoE, Charlotte has been working closely with Harmony to help us understand the Parenthood sector and how we can design our company and product to best serve families of all kinds. Equipped with a Harvard MBA and over 15 years of business strategy experience, Charlotte is a leading voice in putting this nascent sector on the map, and knows exactly what it takes to build and scale in this evolving industry.

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Dr. Xavier Garcia

Advisor, Bioprocess Engineering

An expert in microbial recombinant strain development and bioprocess optimization, Dr. Garcia has over 15 years experience in bioprocess engineering, including a PhD in Biotechnology from the best Industrial Biotechnology Department of Spain, the Autonomous University of Barcelona. When he is not working to optimize Harmony’s protein production, he likes to pass on his bioprocess expertise to graduate students in the field he is helping shape.

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