Low-cost differentiation medium for seafood


Dr. Rees, Dr. Ovissipour, and Dr. Duscher are working to develop robust, low-cost differentiation media for seafood culture.


TECHNOLOGY SECTOR:  Cell culture media

Gfi's competitive research grants program badge, featuring a whole cut of meat within a magnifying glass representing research

Project aims

This project will help develop myogenic and adipogenic differentiation media for zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and adapt this media for sea bass culture. This would reduce costs and optimize media formulations for cultivated seafood production. Beyond zebrafish and sea bass, this work will provide a strong foundation for the development of successful cultivation of other fish species and fish-like cell lines.

Principal researchers

Gfi grantee dr. Steven rees, ceo, defined bioscience, inc. , usa

Dr. Steven Rees

CEO, Defined Bioscience, Inc., USA

Dr. Rees has a background in biomedical sciences with training in molecular biophysics, pharmacology, and multiscale biology. He is currently focused on creating high-quality reagents, media, and protocols that will reduce the cost of growing stem cells from humans and animals.

Gfi grantee dr. Reza ovissipour, assistant professor, virginia tech university, usa

Dr. Reza Ovissipour

Assistant professor, Virginia Tech University, USA

Dr. Ovissipour has expertise in process optimization using AI and machine learning. He has experience developing value-added products from agricultural side streams and researching cultivated seafood production.

Gfi grantee dr. Lexi duscher, postdoctoral associate, virginia tech university, usa

Dr. Lexi Duscher

Postdoctoral associate, Virginia Tech University, USA

Dr. Duscher’s research focuses on optimizing cost-effective and efficient fish cell culture for the development of cultivated seafood. She has experience structuring living fish cells into cultivated meat fillets via plant-based scaffolding and 3D bioprinting.

Defined bioscience logo

Defined Bioscience is awarded $1.5 million NIH SBIR grant

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Defined Bioscience a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to advance human stem cell media. This research will provide complementary learnings for their GFI-funded cultivated seafood media research.

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