New Harvest is funding the first graduate student fellowship program for cellular agriculture research at Tufts University, and Natalie Rubio is the first grantee. Natalie Rubio will begin working in Professor David Kaplan's biomaterials-focused lab on August 1, 2016, funded by New Harvest through the New Harvest Cultured Tissue Fellowship.
Collaboration with Tufts University
Natalie Rubio is the first recipient of the New Harvest Cultured Tissue Fellowship. New Harvest created the New Harvest Cultured Tissue Fellowship in 2015 in partnership with the Tissue Engineering Research Center (TERC) at Tufts University. TERC is an NIH-supported initiative that focuses on functional tissue engineering through a systems approach to integrate the key elements of tissue engineering: cells, scaffold, and bioreactors.
TERC is based at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and is directed by Professor David Kaplan, in whose lab Natalie will be working. Dr. Kaplan works on tissue engineering beyond medical applications, so it is the perfect place for biofabricated foods to develop.
Natalie will be working in Dr. David Kaplan's lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University. Research at The David Kaplan Lab revolves around silk-based biomaterials for regenerative medicine. Natalie's supervisor, Dr. Rosalyn Abbott, works on culturing adipose tissue on silk scaffolds.
Natalie's research will involve culturing meat on a silk-based scaffold and developing culture conditions. She will also be culturing insect cells.
Natalie started volunteering with New Harvest in 2014. In the summer of 2014, she traveled with Isha and Ryan and Perumal from Muufri to Cork, Ireland where she worked as part of Muufri's team as they began an accelerator program through Indie.Bio.
Natalie working in Muufri's lab in Cork, Ireland in Summer 2014.
Natalie's first day in the lab!