Plant-based transferrin media substitutes


Dr. Stogios’ project will uncover plant-based additives for cellular agriculture media. The team will determine whether transferrin, an expensive but key component of serum-free cell culture media, can be replaced by proteins from legumes (like beans, lentils or chickpeas).

Production platform: Cultivated

Technology sector: Cell culture media

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Project aims

Dr. Stogios’ project is focused on discovery of a plant-based additive to use in the media/broth used to grow cells for cellular agriculture. We are testing the hypothesis that the protein transferrin, which is a key component of the serum-free cell culture media but is relatively expensive to manufacture in recombinant form, can be replaced by a protein component of legumes (like beans, lentils or chickpeas). We believe that this fundamental research could provide a disruptive and inexpensive source of transferrin, which would help lower the cost of cell growth media and thereby accelerate the growth of the cellular agriculture industry.

Principal researchers

Sci23076 2022 research grantee headshots stogios

Dr. Peter J. Stogios

Senior Research Associate, BioZone, University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Stogios is a structural biologist and biochemist by training. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto where he continues to work, and he manages a research team in BioZone, Center for Applied Bioscience and Bioengineering. He has published in prestigious scientific journals including Science, Nature Plants, Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Communications.

He is interested in understanding how proteins fold and how they function, particularly in the fields of antimicrobial resistance and drug discovery, and enzyme discovery and engineering as applied to various industrial applications, one of which is cellular agriculture.

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