Natalie Rubio is a 5th year Ph.D. candidate at Tufts University. She received her B.S. Chemical & Biological Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2015. Natalie previously worked at New Harvest, Perfect Day Foods and Quartzy. Natalie's research focuses on (1) applying tissue engineering strategies to invertebrate (i.e., insect) cell platforms and (2) fabricating edible scaffold systems for 3D culture of muscle and fat cells with a goal of lowering barriers for the commercialization of cultured meat. She is a scientific and strategic advisor for multiple entities in the cellular agriculture space including Bond Pet Foods and Matrix Meats.
Gaby is a Communications Intern at New Harvest who joined the team right out of high school during her gap year. She focuses on creating content for New Harvest and helping manage various New Harvest social media.
Han got involved with New Harvest as the recipient of its first undergraduate project sponsorship for the Modular Bioreactor project while studying Engineering Physics at the University of British Columbia. After graduating with distinction, Han has gone on to work as a mechanical/electrical/microfabrication engineer at biotechnology startups Neuralink and Celldom.
I work on computational tools for design optimization and parameter estimation using optimal experimental design, machine learning, Bayesian optimization, and other statistical learning methods for design of cell growth media for bioprocesses in cell-based meat industry.
Lisa is currently a BS (Honours) student working on crayfish growth factors and cell culture – a niche that fits well with the resources at her Uni and current shortfalls in cell-based crustacean meat research. She also has a BA (Geography/History) and has worked in Customer Relations, Quality Assurance, Systems Management and IT Support. She’s been passionate about Cell Ag since 2017. Not only does she now get to do research, but she also works as Secretary at Cellular Agriculture Australia with an amazing team of like-minded Cell Ag champions. Besides Cell Ag, Lisa loves all animals (esp. large dogs), jogging to biology podcasts and concocting plant-based creations for her awesome Guinea pigs, ahem, family.
A psychologist, by training, Paige joined New Harvest after spending more than 10 years in higher and executive education as a professor, academic administrator, and learning experience designer. As Managing Director, Curriculum and Learning Design at Singularity University, she oversaw curriculum strategy and the design of programs focusing on exponential technology, innovation, and social impact for entrepreneurs, executives, and Fortune 500 companies. Paige has a strong background in systems thinking and operations improvement and she uses her unique background to create and grow positive organizational culture, processes, and experiences.
Morgan Ziegelski is a Science Communications Intern at New Harvest. She is from Chicago, IL and currently attends the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA, from where she will receive a BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering - Biotechnology Option in 2023. In addition to her work with New Harvest, Morgan has worked under Prof. Tobin Marks at Northwestern University researching oxidative coupling catalysis and under Prof. Rachel Chen at Georgia Tech researching oligosaccharide synthesis biocatalysis and pathway engineering. In her free time, Morgan likes taking care of her houseplants and sings alto in choir.
Mike is a 6th year Ph.D. student completing his dissertation research at Jackson Labs as part of the Rosenthal Laboratory. His research focuses on high-resolution analysis of cardiac tissue, as well as the development of novel cardiac tissue culture models. As part of New Harvest, he is generating a trophic support cell which will be engineered to produce soluble growth factors to support the growth of various muscle cell types in culture. Ultimately, he aims to characterize intercellular signaling within muscle tissue and utilize that knowledge to improve muscle tissue culture for cellular agriculture.
Jannis was born 1995 in Ulm, Germany. In October 2013 he started with his study of Industrial Biotechnology (Bachelor of Science) at the University of applied Science in Biberach (Germany), before he continued 2017 with his master´s degree (Industrial Biotechnology at the University Ulm/University Biberach). 2019 he was finished with his studies and started in September at the Reutlingen Research Institute of the University Reutlingen, receiving the New Harvest Fellowship grant in December the same year.
Lanto joined New Harvest in 2018 and brings international experience from his career as educational and cultural exchange program coordinator for Madagascar targeting academics, scientists, government officials, youth leaders and activists. After graduating with a degree in Anglophone Studies from the University of Antananarivo, Madagascar, Lanto spent 27 years coordinating the U.S. Department of State's educational and cultural exchange programs including the Fulbright program. His tenure at the U.S. Embassy equipped him with a thorough understanding of program management and administrative support operations, especially contract, grant, and database management. Lanto is fluent in Malagasy, English and French.
Andrew is a PhD student and New Harvest Fellow at Dr. David Kaplan's tissue engineering lab at Tufts University. At Tufts, Andrew's work focuses on genetic strategies for generating and optimizing cell lines for cultured meat applications, with specific focus on cultured meat nutrition and bioprocess metrics. Before Tufts, Andrew worked at Geltor, Inc., where he helped to develop microbial strains for recombinant collagen production, and in Dr. Mark Post's lab at Maastricht University, where he studied edible biomaterials for cultured meat scaffolding. Andrew holds a B.S. in Materials Science from Rice University.
Stephanie is currently a New Harvest Fellow and doctoral student in bioengineering at UCLA where she is working in Dr. Amy Rowat's laboratory. Her project focuses on developing composite scaffolds to efficiently proliferate and differentiate muscle and fat, with the ultimate goal of engineering tasty and 3D marbled cultured meat! Stephanie has been involved with New Harvest since 2017 where she volunteered in the past three conferences, and was ultimately awarded a New Harvest Fellowship in 2019.
Ted is a current Ph.D. student in Food Science & Technology and a longtime follower of a plant-based diet with a passion for alternative protein foods. Ted is working with Profs. David Block and Keith Baar to address some of the challenges facing the commercialization of cultivated meat, and to establish a community of alternative protein researchers at UC Davis. Specifically, his research aims to characterize the nutrient requirements of cultivated chicken cells to identify more efficient plant-based media formulations. He is also investigating whether the nutritional qualities of cultivated meat can be improved in comparison to traditional meat products.
Jernej Vajda is a Young Researcher from Slovenia who just began his PhD studies at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor. He is collaborating with the IRNAS institute on a project of developing a modular perfusion bioreactor. While IRNAS is working on technological development, Jernej provides biological use case scenarios for testing their hardware. The next phase of the project will be a long-term collaboration between New Harvest, IRNAS and the Faculty of Medicine with the aim to create a multi-modal platform for gradient-based research and analysis of complex 3D structures, where his work will be testing the platform for microvascular tissue engineering, which will also be the topic of his PhD thesis.
Lily's research, supervised by Dr. Marianne Ellis, is investigating methods for cell detachment and harvest from the cultured meat expansion bioreactor. Her goal is to demonstrate and evaluate the benefits of continuous steady-state bioreactor operation through controlled and continuous cell harvest. Cultured meat has long intrigued Lily and was the motivation behind her acquiring a B.S. in biological engineering and taking the opportunity to work in Dr. Mark Post's lab at Maastricht University for a summer in 2015.
Julian Cohen is a Biophysics major at Pitzer College, and a visiting undergraduate researcher at Tufts University. Working in the Kaplan Lab on a New Harvest Seed Grant, Julian is investigating how the addition of intermediate fusion proteins might increase the adhesion of bovine satellite cells cultured onto cellulose-based scaffolds. Julian is passionate about finding inspiration in the natural world and developing biotechnology that will change the way food is produced, while critically analyzing food systems to empower agricultural communities and improve food access. In his free time, you can find Julian playing pick-up soccer, watching stand-up comedy, and enjoying a good cup of tea.
Cameron is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary working the lab of Dr. Alexei Savchenko. His research seeks to leverage protein biochemistry for the advancement of cellular agriculture. Cameron’s work involves using microbes to produce growth factors that can then be used to improve the outcomes of fish cell culture. His other research interests include fungal secondary metabolism and structural biology, and he has been working on COVID-19 research resulting in publication of a crystal structure of Nsp1. When not in the lab, Cameron is busy at home with two daughters and he enjoys basketball, indoor rowing, and reading.
Sophie grew up in Montague, MA and graduated from Kenyon College in 2018 with a B.A. in Neuroscience. After graduation, she spent two years working as a technical research assistant in the Butovsky Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. During this time she realized her desire to research sustainable solutions using biology, found New Harvest, and became fascinated with cellular agriculture. She is currently a PhD candidate and New Harvest Fellow in the Kaplan Lab at Tufts University where she is researching the effect of changing cellular membrane potential (“bioelectricity”) on cell fate in various cultured-meat relevant cell types.
Jake’s interest in cellular agriculture was peaked during his junior year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. He developed a passion for supporting the environment and yearned to fulfill that purpose with his engineering toolkit. When Jake learned about cellular agriculture, it seemed like a perfect fit. After finding that the Gaudette Lab at WPI was exploring this field, he applied for a New Harvest seed grant to start a project. Jake hopes to continue this research in a Ph.D. program and eventually enter the world of academia as a professor. He is also passionate about cooking and aims to help bring cellular agriculture products into the culinary world.
Ricardo is a scientist and entrepreneur based in Newcastle, UK, whose expertise includes Cell Biology, Tissue Engineering, and Biomaterials. A biologist with a PhD in Biochemistry from the NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal, he joined the Connon Lab in 2012, developing smart in vitro strategies to better control stem cells and recreate tissues with nativelike structure and function. His work received several accolades, and is published prominently (Nature, Biomaterials). As a New Harvest Fellow since 2018, he is keen to advance the Cell Ag field, developing new methods to produce structured meat. He is also the CSO of 3D Bio-Tissues, a spin-out company he co-founded in 2019 to translate his inventions into the food and healthcare markets.
Scott Allan is a New Harvest Research Fellow and PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath. Scott’s research focuses on bioreactor design for scaling cultured meat production. He is working on defining the fundamental stoichiometric and kinetic data for the expansion of muscle cells in hollow fiber bioreactors. In his free time he enjoys being outdoors and as active as possible or relaxing with a good cup of coffee.
Michela Caffrey is the Art Production Associate at New Harvest. She officially joined the team after having worked on design as an intern and volunteer for the 2018 and 2019 New Harvest conferences, respectively. Michela is fascinated by the field of science communication and uses her graphic design knowledge to promote cellular agriculture.
Rick is a PhD student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute studying in vitro meat production, scalable bioreactor systems, and tissue mechanics. Rick is originally from Sutton Massachusetts and has lived in Worcester since 2012. In 2016, Rick designed a system that facilitated decellularization and recellularization of plant tissue as a vascularized scaffold for heart regeneration. He graduated from WPI with his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2016. He has since worked in developing novel sutures, blood management, twin screw extrusion, fabrication, and most recently decellularization. Since returning to WPI, Rick has been passionately involved in cellular agriculture, plant based scaffolds, bioreactors and algal culture.
Jordan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). At WPI, he worked on numerous research projects focused on cardiac regeneration, decellularization, and designed bioreactor systems. After graduating from WPI, Jordan worked in the medical device industry from 2016 to 2018. He then returned to WPI to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Shortly after returning to WPI, Jordan became a New Harvest research fellow. He is currently working on developing lab-grown meat. Jordan uses decellularized plant tissues to form a vascularized scaffold suitable for 3D bioengineered tissues, including structured meats such as steak.
Samuel S. Peabody IV, is an active researcher in Food Safety Applications for Cell Cultured Foods at Texas Tech University (TTU). Prior to this he earned a Master's of Science at TTU investigating the performance of antimicrobial acids against Listeria monocytogenes on ready-to-eat roasted lamb and smoked turkey matrices. Outside of the lab, Sam is an active learner, gamer, b-movie watcher, and sci fi/fantasy fan.
Near the end of his undergraduate-masters degree at the University of California San Diego, John was thinking about what he should do with his life. Insipired to think about improving the environment by one his professors, Milton Saier, he suddenly thought of generating meat via tissue engineering as a potential solution to the climate impact of animal agriculture/meat consumption. A ha! He'd be famous, he thought. A brief search online later, he found that it was an idea already being pursued, but thought that it would be good to enter the field and help it develop in some way. Thus, he found the fledgling Cellular Agriculture group in the David Kaplan Laboratory at Tufts University and applied for his PhD, where he resides today.
Jeremiah began working at New Harvest at around the end of 2019 and assumed the role of Research Program Director in June of 2020. Before New Harvest, he worked either directly in or adjacent to science education, teaching a biomedical engineering course for high school students during the summers and taking freelance jobs in science publishing whenever he wasn’t. Jeremiah never wants to stop learning and is motivated by work that has an impact beyond his life alone. The work at New Harvest -- the chance to engage with researchers and the research they do -- is what brings him to work each day (virtually or otherwise).
Meera learned about cell ag in the bowels of animal rights internet way back in middle school. She has been obsessed ever since! Meera was New Harvest's second intern and is proud to have attended all four NH conferences. She has a BA in Economics and Philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis. Meera likes Taco Bell and being on wheels of any kind.
Clarisse is a graduate researcher in Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. She holds a BSc in Biological Sciences & Management from Imperial College London and has previously worked for Higher Steaks, which made the world's 1st cell-based pork. Clarisse also has wide experience as a sustainability consultant in firms such as Sandvik, Ethifinance & Sustainable Seaweed. She organized the world's first Cellular Agriculture Hackathon and is a lead author of the world's first Cellular Agriculture textbook. In Cambridge, she also acts as the Business and Science advisor of the Cellular Agriculture Society.
Over the past 20 years, Vanessa has worked for environmental non-profits, academia, governmental agencies, within tourism, & as a marine scientist. Her Master’s research, at Florida International University, studied the migration of bonefish & she subsequently received the Marine Scientist Award from The Government of The Bahamas. Her current doctorate research, at The University of Auckland, is funded by New Harvest Institute, & The Lyford Cay Foundation’s Fiona Albek Award. Her research objectives are to analyze stem cell marker expression of embryonic & larvae tissue in abalone & oyster, to establish their culture conditions, & to investigate the characteristics of cell development & gene expression of adult molluscan muscle tissue.
Santiago Campuzano, a former Research Fellow, received his MSc from the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Andrew Pelling. While at the Pelling Lab, Santiago’s research demonstrated how celery can be repurposed as animal-free scaffolding capable of recreating alignment of skeletal muscle cells in vitro. Now residing in Vancouver, Santiago currently works as a Bioengineer at STEMCELL Technologies. Santiago is also an active member of the Open Science Network, a local community lab devoted to educating community members and facilitating multidisciplinary collaborations.
Kaili Chen is a recent graduate from Tufts University where she studied Biology and International Relations (Global Health, Nutrition, and the Environment concentration). At Tufts, Kaili worked in the Kaplan Lab under the mentorship of Natalie Rubio. There, she evaluated the efficacy of decellularized mycelium as a working scaffold through collaborations with Ecovative Labs and Texture Technologies. Committed to promoting a One Health approach, Kaili hopes to continue to work at the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health.
Vicky is investigating the potential of sheep as a cell source for cultured meat applications, by determining the cells’ properties in both 2D and 3D, at the University of Auckland. She has a background in biomedical engineering with a focus on tissue engineering, and during a five-month internship at Mosa Meat in 2019 she gained her first experience in the cultured meat field. Through extracurricular courses in food technology she gained fundamental knowledge about muscle tissue as a food product. She is extremely passionate about cultured meat, and determined to do anything in her power to bring it to the market as soon as possible.
Dan is a former seed grant recipient who worked on a project to isolate muscle stem cells from crustaceans.
Luka Banović is fascinated by the comprehensive experience that product development offers. He works at IRNAS LTD as an engineering project manager and product developer. IRNAS works together with scientists to adapt and develop custom technology for their specific applications. Luka is an alumnus from Southampton University (UK) and University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.
Boštjan Vihar is a biomimetics and tissue engineering enthusiast. He develops protocols for tailor-made research tools and mediates communication between scientists and engineers. He obtained a PhD in natural sciences from RWTH Aachen University and currently holds a post-doc position at the University of Maribor. He loves tinkering in the lab and finding new ways of measuring biological phenomena.
Kai comes from a structural biology background. His final year research project spanned from carrying out in vivo assays on E. coli to production, purification, and crystallization of proteins, which trained him in a variety of analytical and preparative techniques. After completing his degree, he was employed at the University of Frankfurt, a.M. for DNA and protein work, while staying on the lookout for opportunities to apply his skills to cellular agriculture. His current research aims to create serum-free and cost-effective growth and differentiaition media for clean meat production.
Abi Glencross was New Harvest's very first fellow. She graduated with a MEng Chemical Engineering from the University of Bath in 2014. Abi co-founded The Sustainable Food Story, co-runs the online magazine ONIN London, and has previous experience in events management, PR and social media. Abi currently also works at Duchess Farms, where she manages a site in Hertfordshire.
Alexis is a graduate student in Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under the supervision of Dr. Michael Sealy. As part of Nebraska's dual degree program, she plans to complete her Masters in Material Science at the University of Rouen and PhD at UNL. During Alexis's undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering, her primary domains of interest were biomechanics, controls, and additive manufacturing. She has also gained some experience in primary bio/additive manufacturing techniques with Drs. Sealy and Tamayol. Her graduate research interests are in rapid vat polymerization of tissue engineered constructs for protein using edible photo-initiatiors.
Isha has been pioneering cellular agriculture since 2009, driven by a passion to to see transformative technology create a better world. In 2010, Isha published "Possibilities for an in-vitro meat production system" in Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies; thus began her quest to establish the field of cell ag. Isha became Executive Director of New Harvest in 2013. She co-founded Muufri (now Perfect Day) and Clara Foods in 2014, and soon after passed her founding equity to New Harvest in full to establish the first endowment for cell ag research. In 2015 she named the field "cellular agriculture" - officially creating a category for agriculture products produced from cell cultures rather than whole plants or animals. She is Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and also served as a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab. Isha has a BSc. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Toronto.
Bre joined New Harvest as the Research Operations and Outreach Director in 2020 and has worked in tissue engineering research since 2013. She has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Arizona and is wrapping up her doctorate in biomedical engineering from Tufts University, where her dissertation focused on cardiac muscle tissue engineering. Growing alarm over the environmental crisis and global food insecurity lead her to cellular agriculture, where she hopes to use her scientific background to help build a more sustainable and equitable food system. In her free time Bre is an avid gardener, with over 50 houseplants (and growing) and a small urban garden.
Yadira Tejeda Saldana
Yadira Tejeda Saldana is a food scientist by training. She brings to New Harvest not only her experience as a co-founder and former Executive Director of Cellular Agriculture Canada, but also as an avid agri-food professional that has spent more than 10 years working in the industry and academia. During her graduate studies, she participated in an industry collaboration where she developed a rapid detection method for E. coli O157 in meat. While working on this method's regulatory approval, she became interested in the intersection between science and policy. She was also actively involved in science communication initiatives. Both experiences encouraged her to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at the Ivey Business School, where she used her scientific background to advance regulatory cooperation between Canada and the U.S. in the agri-food sector.Before settling down in Canada, she lived in The Netherlands, where she studied a MSc. in Food Safety, and discovered the freedom of biking everywhere.Yadira is a lifelong dog rescuer and fell in love with cellular agriculture when she learned that we could obtain agricultural products such as meat, milk, and even leather without using animals. She is eager to use her background to help build a thriving cellular agriculture ecosystem worldwide while learning alongside this innovative field as it evolves.