Liz Specht, Ph.D.
VICE PRESIDENT, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Liz Specht oversees GFI’s Science and Technology department to build a roadmap for accelerating alternative protein research while empowering scientists to execute on this vision.
Areas of expertise: plant-based meat, fermentation, technical analyses, forecasting and modeling, synthetic biology, public speaking.
Liz works to identify and forecast areas of technological need within the alternative protein field. Her efforts also catalyze research to address these needs while supporting researchers in academia and industry to move the field forward. Liz has a bachelor’s degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Johns Hopkins University, a doctorate in biological sciences from the University of California San Diego, and postdoctoral research experience from the University of Colorado Boulder. Prior to joining GFI in 2016, Liz had accumulated a decade of academic research experience in synthetic biology, recombinant protein expression, and development of genetic tools. She is a firm believer in the power of technology to enable us to meet growing food demands in a sustainable way.
Articles and op-eds
How we’ll eat in 2050
GFI’s Dr. Liz Specht talks to CNN about the major role alternative proteins play in the future of food.
Is it time to start eating algae?
GFI’s Dr. Liz Specht talks to National Geographic about algae’s potential in the world of alternative proteins. GFI grant recipient Umaro Foods is also featured.
Liz Specht is shaping the next generation of meat alternatives
Scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs want in on the meat-free revolution. Specht has been there to guide them — and accelerate the whole field.
The future of food: how the agriculture industry could go from farming to “ferming.”
GFI’s Dr. Liz Specht on the science behind precision fermentation and why governments need to invest in R&D for it to reach its full potential.
The next hottest alternative milk comes from microbes
GFI’s Dr. Liz Specht talks about precision fermentation and its potential to help bring plant-based alternatives to the next level.
The future of food: are there some things we shouldn’t eat?
Listen to GFI’s Dr. Liz Specht talk about the future of food on The Economist podcast The World Ahead.
Meat grown from fungus? It could save the world’s forests.
GFI’s Dr. Liz Specht explains how eating meat made from microbes could stave off half the world’s deforestation — but at a certain point, the land-saving effect is diminished.
Making Sense with Sam Harris: Food, climate & pandemic risk
GFIers Dr. Liz Specht & Bruce Friedrich join Sam Harris for a discussion of GFI, food, climate, antibiotic resistance, and pandemic risk.
Modernizing meat production will help us avoid pandemics
GFI’s Dr. Liz Specht explains how the Covid-19 outbreak stresses the need to change how we make meat.
Meat by the molecule: Making meat with plants and cells (The Biochemist)
This article from The Biochemist provides a high-level overview of plant-based and cultivated meat.
Analyzing cell culture medium costs
This white paper explains different routes to lowering the cost of cell culture medium and making cultivated meat economically viable.
Translating biomedical advances to cultivated meat (Biochemical Engineering Journal)
This peer-reviewed article discusses how advances from the biomedical cell culture industry can contribute to the development of cultivated meat.
Why plant-based meat will ultimately be less expensive than conventional meat
Right now, plant-based meat commands a premium in most restaurants and grocery stores. That’s going to change.
Meet Dr. Liz Specht, GFI’s associate director of science and technology team
A Q&A with The Good Food Institute’s Associate Director of Science and Technology about her past, her future, and the future of science in food.
GFI releases first-ever State of the Industry Report on fermentation in alternative proteins
Plant-based and cultivated meat have been recognized as two primary pillars of the alternative protein industry, but fermentation is increasingly proving its incredible promise for the future of alternative proteins.
Tackling the cell-based meat cost curve
The GFI Science & Technology team analyzes the primary cost drivers of cell culture media and highlights where innovation is needed to bring cell-based meat down the cost curve.