Webinar description

The development of a plant-based, inexpensive media for growth of cultivated meat cells is a key technical hurdle in further commercialization of cultivated meat products. Generating a viable alternative to expensive pharmaceutical grade medium is not an easy problem to solve, as it requires experimental optimization of at least 20-30 potential media ingredients simultaneously. Join Dr. Block as he discusses novel experimental optimization methods that can be used develop new, less expensive media for cultivated meat. Dr. Block will also discuss how this research fits into a larger, NSF-funded effort at UC Davis to assess and tackle other major technical hurdles in cultivated meat processing.

Meet the speaker

Professor Block is Marvin Sands Department Chair in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis and holds the Ernest Gallo Endowed Chair. Since joining UC Davis, he has conducted research on various topics, from fermentation optimization methods to metabolic engineering of yeast for improved wine production, as well as on single-plant resolution irrigation sensing and control. More recently, his research has focused on computational fluid dynamics models for red wine fermentations and process optimization for cultivated meat production. Professor Block has received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the UC Davis Academic Senate, the highest teaching award given for teaching alone on the UC Davis campus. Prior to joining UC Davis, he worked for Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc. working on biopharmaceuticals, both in process development and in manufacturing. Dr. Block was recently elected an AIChE Fellow and has served as Chair of Division 15, Food, Pharmaceutical, and Bioengineering. He leads the UC Davis Cultivated Meat Consortium, founded in October of 2019, and has received funding from GFI, New Harvest, and the National Science Foundation for work in this area. He holds a B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, both in Chemical Engineering.

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