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 20 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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Valeria Kravitz

Head of Microbiology

With an M.S. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and 15+ years of experience working with the Israel Ministry of Health and Evelo Biosciences, Valeria’s work as the Head of Microbiology is essential for ensuring that Harmony’s products provide the highest quality nutrition to growing infants.

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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. Mauro Ramalho Silva

Formulation Engineer

Over the past decade, Dr. Mauro has been working as a researcher, formulation scientist, and professor teaching cutting-edge food science to the current generation of innovators. Equipped with a PhD in Food Science from the Federal University of Minas Gerais and extensive experience treating specialty infant nutrition needs, Dr. Mauro is now on Harmony’s formulation team designing the most innovative and effective step the infant nutrition industry has ever seen.

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Karson Wong

Bioprocess Engineer

Operating out of Harmony’s Hong Kong laboratory, Karson is refining new methods to produce breast milk components as accurately and efficiently as possible. He has been working in molecular biotech throughout his entire academic and professional career, starting with a master’s degree in molecular biotechnology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, then moving to 5 years as a researcher, authoring 5 published papers, followed by 5+ more years working professionally in biotech.

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Shirley Sze-To

Business Strategy and Operations Lead

Shirley is leading Harmony’s strategic operations and growth strategy. With a background as a seed and early-stage venture capitalist at HKSTP Ventures, she partnered with biotech and healthtech entrepreneurs who had ambitious goals to help them realize their potential. Shirley’s passion for entrepreneurship extends beyond traditional startups, as she has launched social venture incubators that empower like-minded, socially focused founders. With her well-rounded experience and entrepreneurial spirit, Shirley is committed to driving Harmony’s success and making a positive impact in the business world.

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Dr. Jonathan Lau

Senior Analytical Scientist

With 10 years of schooling in biology and food science, culminating in a Ph.D. in drug discovery from the University of Hong Kong, followed by 5 years of research developing new treatments for cancer and other diseases, Jonathan is well equipped to serve as Harmony’s Senior Analytical Scientist.

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Carter Heck

Marketing and Communications Lead

Carter is sharing Harmony’s novel technology and innovative infant nutrition solutions to a variety of audiences, such as healthtech and foodtech professionals and the parents these solutions will help. With degrees in business analytics, strategy, and communication from Cornell University and experience with Fortune 500 and startup companies alike, he is well equipped to market an early-stage company and transform it into a legitimate player in the industry.

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