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Leading industry experts unite to discuss cutting-edge research and the latest innovations shaping the future of sustainable food.

Medford/Somerville, MA – January 5, 2023 – Tufts University, a leader in researching and advancing the field of cultivated meat, today announced the first Cellular Agriculture Innovation Day, set to take place on January 19, 2023 at District Hall in Boston. The event is being organized to address the urgency for sustainably created food that meets the nutrition and safety needs of the world’s growing population as it faces increasingly limited access to land, water, energy and other resources. The meeting will bring together key leaders in the cellular agriculture community to discuss the evolving state and regulatory environment of the industry, review cutting-edge research, innovations and challenges, and track the latest investment trends shaping the future of food.

Tufts’ Cellular Agriculture Innovation Day follows recent progress in the field, including a landmark review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that signaled growing acceptance of the safety of lab grown meat. The host, Tufts University, has been central to the field’s growth, which includes:

  • Selection by the USDA to establish the National Institute for Cellular Agriculture, a research center of excellence that involves investigators from multiple institutions and disciplines focused on developing a cell-grown meat platform and training the next generation of industry leaders and professionals;
  • Launching the Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture Consortium with 9 founding members representing companies and nonprofits in cellular agriculture worldwide to support research; and
  • Furthering its role as the world’s first university-wide cellular agriculture program that emphasizes interdisciplinary research involving engineers, biologists, nutrition researchers, veterinarians, and social scientists.

“Tufts is committed to advancing the field of cellular agriculture and its beneficial impact on society, which is why we are leading the way in both educating its first generation of leaders and developing and implementing solutions that will facilitate and speed its growth,” said Caroline Genco, provost and senior vice president ad interim.

The January 19th event will focus on the emerging importance of producing food through cell culture, rather than animal production, as a solution to the growing demand for sustainable sources of high-quality protein. Of note, David Kaplan, the Stern Family Professor of Engineering and professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts, will moderate a State of the Industry panel including leaders of private companies who will discuss issues facing the cellular agriculture industry today and how it might evolve in the future. Other panels will feature lawmakers and industry experts discussing the importance of this emerging field and how to train and attract more talent.

“Through our innovative, interdisciplinary and collaborative work, Tufts, along with its academic and industrial partners, is tackling some of the major challenges towards developing a new food system,” said Kaplan. “These challenges include cell sourcing, media composition and costs, scale-up options, lifecycle analysis, nutrition, safety and many related technology needs. We are honored to host such an impressive group of scientists, CEOs and thought leaders in person, and we know the audience will find the panel discussions we have planned engaging and thought-provoking.”

The Cellular Agriculture Innovation Day features an impressive lineup of speakers, including:

  • David Kaplan, Stern Family Professor of Engineering, director of the Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture, and a leading researcher in the development of cultivated meat;
  • Uma Valeti, the CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods, the first U.S. cultivated meat company and first to obtain a successful FDA pre-market review FDA for cell grown chicken;
  • Isha Datar, executive director of New Harvest, a leading non-profit organization supporting both research and professional training in cellular agriculture;
  • Bruce Friedrich, president and founder of Good Food Institute, a think tank, advocacy and research grant organization dedicated to advancing sustainable, alternative sources of protein in the food supply;
  • Tim Olsen, head of the new cultured meat division of Merck KgaA;
  • Amir Zaidman, chief business officer of The Kitchen Hub, a leading food technology-focused seed investor and technology incubator;
  • Nicole Tichenor Blackstone, assistant professor in the Division of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who conducts life cycle analyses of cultivated meats;
  • Bob Hibbert, a leading practitioner of food and agricultural regulatory law;
  • And many more.

The full event schedule can be found here. This year’s event is on an invite only basis so if you are a member of the media interested in attending, contact Kate Ormonde at Otherwise, please reach out to