Risa Schulman

Industry Advisor

Risa Schulman, PhD, is founder and president of Tap~Root (Tap-Root.biz), a functional food and dietary supplement expert, professional speaker and writer, and an industry leader with 25 years of experience. Her particular expertise is in straddling the science-regulatory-marketing axis and bridging these areas for successful product development and launch. She and her team at Tap~Root assist prominent and pioneering food, dietary supplement and cosmeceutical companies, ingredient suppliers and companies entering these spaces both in the US and abroad.  Dr. Schulman also serves as an advisor to investment bankers and on science advisory boards.

Throughout her executive career, Risa has held high-profile leadership positions at companies including Tap~Root, Mars, Inc., Schulman Scientific Consulting, POM Wonderful, and Solgar Vitamins.  As Founder and President of Tap~Root, Risa advises clients in evidence-based product development, regulatory and strategy. She and her team assist prominent and pioneering food, dietary supplement and cosmeceutical companies, ingredient suppliers and companies entering these spaces both in the US and abroad. During her tenure as Director of R&D with Mars, Inc., Risa played a pivotal role in launching the first cocoa-based dietary supplement, leveraging nearly 20 years of science. As Director of Research with POM Wonderful, she built and managed an international team of 20 scientists who performed medical research which resulted in 12 published papers and gained international recognition of a new health food. She was instrumental in achieving GRAS status for pomegranate extract POMx. Additionally, Risa oversaw national medical marketing efforts which targeted 60,000 physicians, nurses, and dieticians. Over the course of her career, Risa has worked with numerous global brands and start-ups, including PL Thomas Health Solutions, Kaneka Nutrients, DSM, Anderson Global Group, Bergstrom Nutrition, New Zealand Plant and Food, Pharmavite, Herbalife, Organifi, Ixcela, BioPhamX, InnoBev, Plum Organics, 21 Days, Nibmor Cholcolates, and large CPGs and pharmaceutical companies, among many others.

Dr. Schulman is an advisor to investors and science advisory boards.  She is a selection committee member of Nutrition Capital Network and an Industry Advisor to Silverwood Partners.  Through this and other client work she assists companies in being investor- and partner-ready and mentors candidate companies to perfect their presentation materials and pitch.  Dr. Schulman has served on the science advisory boards for McCormick, a large CPG, Plum Organics, ZenB and DianaPlantSciences and assembled and chaired a science advisory board for a major pharmaceutical company division.

Dr. Schulman serves as an expert in multiple capacities.  As a very active Council Member and Scholar for Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), she has been in the top 6% worldwide for guidance provided.  She served as an expert writer and reviewer for the American Botanical Council for two decades.  She is also on the editorial and planning board for New Hope Natural Media and was chosen as one of the “9 Wonder Women of the Natural Industry” by New Hope 360.  Lastly, she has been a Visiting Scientist at Rutgers University.

An experienced communicator, Risa has been an invited speaker at multiple industry conferences and webinars.  She is a published author of scientific journal articles and a technical book “Pomegranates: Ancient Roots to Modern Medicine” (co-editor, Taylor & Francis, 2006) and has penned numerous technical and thought leadership articles and blogs in industry publications such as Nutrition Business Journal, New Hope IdeaXchange, Natural Products Insider, R&D Insights and others.

Risa holds a PhD in Plant Biology from Rutgers University, an MES in Environmental Science from Yale University, and a BS in Biology and Environmental Science (double major) from Tufts University.