A Word From Our Research Fellows
Since 2015, New Harvest has grown its team of Research Fellows from one pioneering scientist in cellular agriculture to an international, multi-disciplinary, collaborative team of six! Supporting and sharing the work of these trailblazing scientists is core to New Harvest’s mission — and it has only been made possible thanks to the ongoing support of individual donors, just like you.
Today, the New Harvest Research Fellows are paving the way for future generations of scientists in cellular agriculture to take the field to new and greater depths. Our hope is to be able to fund and democratize even more of this kind of research, so that a future industry can be established on a robust academic foundation that is as accessible and transparent as possible. Read on to find out what being a New Harvest Research Fellow or a principal investigator has meant for our team, in their own words.
Natalie Rubio, PhD candidate, Tufts University
When I first started working with New Harvest as a volunteer in 2014, the organization served as motivation to finish my engineering degree, knowing I could apply my skills to an impactful field of work. Last year, New Harvest awarded me the opportunity to start my graduate degree in cellular agriculture at Tufts University, an opportunity that would have been next to impossible to secure without their network and financial support. Today, as I am almost two years into my program, New Harvest means having a community of support as I struggle through day-to-day challenges in the lab. I rely on our Research Director, Kate, as well as my other research fellows to help me refine project ideas and troubleshoot experiments. New Harvest has provided me with a sense of purpose and the beginning of a meaningful and always exciting career. I am incredibly grateful for their support and the confidence they give me to pursue our shared goals
Andrew Stout, PhD candidate, Tufts University
What New Harvest means to me is written in the mission statement: to establish the field of cellular agriculture. For me, ‘field’ is the operative word. The common aim of Cell Ag — of activists, scientists, philanthropists, or investors — is, in a word, lofty. It is one that no single entity will bring to bear in its entirety. Rather, it will rely on a set of players who are diverse in their methods, opinions, and contexts. In other words: a field.
New Harvest’s commitment to this idea is amazing. No matter when that avidly-sought ‘first product’ hits shelves, the mission of Cell Ag won’t be finished in a year, or two, or fifty. It will instead be an continuing, challenging, and changing process. Because of this, New Harvest’s dedication to a bottom-up, holistic, product-patient approach — where foundational research and openness are king — is essential for the field’s long-term growth.
So, to all past donors, and to everybody who is considering donating this year: thank you. The opportunity to work with New Harvest has been exciting and enriching to the extreme, and it’s through donations like yours that it’s possible. I can’t say how grateful I am for your support!
Santiago Campuzano, Master’s student, University of Ottawa
As an environmentalist and animal lover, I struggle with conventional meat production due to its unsustainable practices. I always had a feeling that there had to be a better way: If nature can “manufacture” tissues, then why can’t we? Throughout my food science degree, I wanted to get involved in cellular agriculture. Unfortunately, most universities don’t offer classes or programs aimed at developing animal products without animals. On the last year of my undergraduate degree, I submitted a thesis aimed at the applications of bacterial cellulose in cellular agriculture. My thesis was highly commended, due in large part to the collaboration with New Harvest.
Now as a proud New Harvest research fellow, I am pursuing an MSc under Andrew Pelling. I feel extremely privileged to call myself a New Harvest Research Fellow, and will be forever thankful for the opportunity. Not only has it opened doors, it allows to me do the research that I dreamed of doing. Projects such as the one taking place at the Pelling Lab would only be possible thanks to generous donors to New Harvest.
Scott Allan, MRes and PhD candidate, University of Bath
Having worked in the oil and gas industry, I felt compelled to turn my hand to research in the area of sustainability. The funding from New Harvest has allowed me to conduct my PhD research specifically on cultured meat, an area I am extremely passionate about! As a chemical engineer, my research is on the design of a bioreactor for scale-up, a necessary step to take cultured meat from the lab to a financially viable product that can one day be commercially available. Cultured meat has the potential to battle so many of the challenges facing livestock farming today; ranging from population growth increasing the demand for food, to negative impacts on the environment such as greenhouse gas emissions and water use. In my opinion cultured meat will address these challenges and make a massive contribution towards a sustainable future.
The science of cellular agriculture fills me with hope for the future, and New Harvest has empowered me to play an active role in contributing to the advancement of this amazing field. The concept of cellular agriculture used to feel like science fiction, but discovering New Harvest has opened my eyes to the revolutionary work already being carried out to make it a reality.
The idea of growing meat and other animal products in a lab without the need to sacrifice animals is awesome and a reality that New Harvest is helping pioneer. Donating to New Harvest is a great way to invest in our future and thanks to generous donations, New Harvest is able to support my PhD research in cultured meat at the University of Bath in the UK.
Jess Krieger, PhD candidate, Kent State University
After learning about the devastating effects that the animal agriculture industry has on climate change environmental destruction, in vitro meat became my dream in 2010. For many years, I tried navigating through the research funding world with this hope in mind. Unfortunately, because there is no obvious funding agency tailored to the study of in vitro meat, it’s been very tough to advance this field. That was the case until I met New Harvest! Their team has done an incredible job providing guidance and opportunities to advance my research.
One of New Harvest’s greatest strengths is that it’s run on donations from people who fund the change they want to see in world. With support from donors, we can protect all life on earth by making cellular agriculture a reality. I’m so proud to be part of this team and I couldn’t be doing what I love without New Harvest! Together we’re making the world a better place.
Dr. Min-Ho Kim, Principal Investigator to Fellow Jess Krieger at Kent State University
I have long been engaged in research in tissue engineering for regenerative medicine, and understand that the principles of tissue engineering hold promise in advancing cellular agriculture. The generous support from New Harvest has allowed me to make steps towards researching cellular agriculture to produce bioengineered meat. I believe that the future of cellular agriculture depends highly on successful research that can make major technological breakthroughs, enabling the production of cost-competitive cultured meat. Since New Harvest is the only funding source to initiate such research efforts, donations to New Harvest will greatly advance the future of cellular agriculture, which will eventually transform traditional agricultural technologies.
Would you like to help support open, academic research in cellular agriculture? You can make a contribution of any amount here and begin receiving the in-depth monthly research updates with content exclusive to New Harvest donors. We couldn’t do this without your support — everything we do is powered by donors like you!