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Isha Datar

Executive Director

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Isha has been pioneering the field of cellular agriculture since 2009, when she began a deep-dive investigation into the technical challenges and opportunities involved in producing cultured meat. In 2010 Isha published "Possibilities for an in-vitro meat production system" in the food science journal Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies.

She quickly discovered that cellular agriculture research was not held back by a lack of interest or expertise, but instead by a lack of designated funding channels directed at this intersectional work. Thus began her quest to establish the field of animal products made without animals, one recognized by researchers, funding agencies, and investors.

A stint in Policy and Public Affairs at GlaxoSmithKline illuminated the cooperative relationship between non-profits, academia, and companies in translating beneficial science out of the lab and into society. Isha has used a model established in the advancement of medical research to accelerate cellular agriculture, by funding early stage, foundational research in academia in order for ready-to-market technologies to be developed for commercial use.

Isha became Executive Director of New Harvest in January 2013. She co-founded Muufri, making milk without cows, in April 2014 and Clara Foods, making eggs without chickens, in November 2014.

Isha has a BSc. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Toronto.

Isha enjoys rooftops, houseplants, long walks through the city, and the freedom of not owning a car.

 

Kate Krueger, PhD

Research Director

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Kate began working in cellular agriculture as an intern at Perfect Day Foods (formerly Muufri) developing strategies to make milk proteins. She has a background in protein biochemistry and cell biology, and completed her PhD in May 2017.

While in graduate school, she created and instructed at Clones to Crystals, an 8-week undergraduate laboratory course covering the basics of cloning, protein purification, and crystallization trials. She also co-founded and ran Learn to Code, a data science bootcamp for women, teaching 50+ students the basics of data science and software development in Python. Her research focused on how insects use their immune systems to fight disease, particularly the biochemistry of thioester containing proteins (TEPs), a family of insect immune proteins. She has extensive research experience in biochemistry, structural biology, and cell biology.

She holds a PhD in Cell Biology from Yale University and an AB in Biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College, and is a proud native of Federal Way, Washington. She is can often be found hiking or brewing hard cider.

Board of Directors

Scott Banister

Scott built his career by identifying new markets and shaping innovative products for them. In 1995, he identified search engines as a significant advertising medium and invented the first products to automate marketing across multiple search engines, ultimately creating the bid-for-placement business model. As an initial investor and Director at PayPal, he was a co-inventor of the 'email payments' product now widely used on eBay. In 2000, Scott saw opportunity in the rapid growth of email traffic, co-founding IronPort Systems and serving as CTO. Scott is now a successful angel investor with past or present investments in Zappos, Ekso Bionics, Practice Fusion, ClassPass, Bell Biosystems, Bridge International Academies, Moon Express, Postmates, Thumbtack, and Uber.

Jason Matheny

Jason Matheny founded New Harvest in 2004. He became director of Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in 2015, after serving as a program manager, associate office director, and office director. He previously worked for the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, where his work focused on existential risks, the World Bank, the Center for Biosecurity, the Center for Global Development, the Applied Physics Laboratory, and on national security projects for the US government. He holds a PhD in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University, an MPH from Johns Hopkins, an MBA from Duke University, and a BA from the University of Chicago. He has published on biotechnology, neurotechnology, risk analysis, demography, economics, and bioethics.

Karien Bezuidenhout

Karien is an advocate for openness and supporter of social entrepreneurs. She has played various roles within the Shuttleworth Foundation, facing new challenges and learning every step of the way. She now focuses on the Shuttleworth Fellowship Program - engaging with issues of openness and social change, identifying potential investments and working closely with Fellows towards realising their vision.

She is a native of the Eastern Cape, South Africa, and the smell of rain after a dry spell still makes her think of home. She believes elephants have noble hearts and is passionate about their protection and conservation. It is rare for a meme to pass her by, she always knows what's up in the collective mind of the Internet. Karien studied business and economics at the business schools of the University of Stellenbosch and University of Cape Town. 

Caleb Harper

Caleb Harper is the Principal Investigator and Director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAg) Initiative at the MIT Media Lab.  He leads a diverse group of engineers, architects and scientists in the exploration and development of the future food systems.  Caleb’s research focuses in the areas of control environment design, actuated sensing, control automation and data-driven resource, energy and biologic optimization.  His group is developing an open-source agricultural hardware, software and data common with the goal of creating a more agile, transparent and collaborative food system.

Caleb is a National Geographic Explorer and a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) New Vision for Agriculture Transformation Leaders Network.  His work has been featured by TIME, WIRED, The Economist, IEEE, World Urban Forum (WUF), USAID and TED. Prior to joining the Media Lab in 2011, Caleb worked professionally as an Architect designing and developing data centers, health care and semi-conductor fabrication facilities.  Additionally, he has consulted with multiple international development agencies including USAID, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and the Delhi Development Authority on high-density urban development projects.

 

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