Featuring UMA VALETI
CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, UPSIDE FOODS (PREVIOUSLY MEMPHIS MEATS)
A cardiologist by training, Dr. Uma Valeti is laser focused on advancing the commercial viability of real meat farmed directly from animal cells. During his childhood in Vijayawada, India, Valeti would dream of meat growing on trees as an alternative to killing animals. Valeti's inspiration came following his tenure at the Mayo Clinic. While practicing Cardiology he was injecting stem cells into patients hearts as a part of a clinical trial to regenerate heart muscle, and it was this scientific procedure that triggered a risky, passion-driven career turn. In 2015 Valeti co-founded Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats), and in 2016, he and his team attracted global attention with the unveiling of the world’s first “cultured” meatball, and in 2017, the world’s first “clean” chicken fillet and duck a l’orange. Uma Valeti wants his greatest contribution to be “leading the development of a world positive future food system.”
CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF SCIENCE OFFICER, UPSIDE FOODS (PREVIOUSLY MEMPHIS MEATS)
Nicholas Genovese is a stem cell biologist, meat‐lover and a vegetarian who believes that “the best way to improve our food system is by innovating clean meat technologies that can produce the same meat we have always enjoyed without the negative impact on the planet and its inhabitants”. Prior to Co‐Founding Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats), Nicholas raised poultry on his family’s farm, gained industrial experience as a bioprocess technician, completed his graduate thesis in cancer biology, and pioneered a novel approach for the cultivation of livestock stem cells.
VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCT & REGULATIONS, UPSIDE FOODS (PREVIOUSLY MEMPHIS MEATS)
Eric Schulze is a molecular biologist that specializes in genetic engineering, broadcast communication, and is a science policy strategist. He designs delicious, sustainable food and food product platforms using an empirical evidence, policy, and consumer‐based approach. As a Federal policy maker, he has developed and executed regulatory policy for modern food and animal biotechnology industries for the FDA and Federal STEM Education policy execution for the US NSF.
VICE PRESIDENT, PROCESS DEVELOPMENT, UPSIDE FOODS (PREVIOUSLY MEMPHIS MEATS)
KC Carswell leads the development of robust, efficient processes for cell culture‐derived clean meat, heading up the ‘scaling up’ of product engineering. Dr. Carswell is a Chemical Engineer with a BS from the University of Texas and has a Ph.D from Northwestern University. At JHL Biotech, Inc. Dr. Carswell served as Vice President of Process Development, was a member of their Scientific Advisory Committee and was also a founder.
LABORATORY MANAGER & RESEARCH SCIENTIST, UPSIDE FOODS (PREVIOUSLY MEMPHIS MEATS)
Danielle Desmet has been at Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats) since the beginning. She is a Research Scientist, and she designed the laboratory layout and coordinated the lab build out with the relevant contractors, and is now responsible for keeping it running. Researching all of Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats) laboratory equipment, from capital equipment (biosafety cabinets, autoclave etc.) to consumables, is also her responsibility. She is also responsible for safety, compliance, and vendor contract negotiations.
CULTIVATIONS SYSTEMS ENGINEER, UPSIDE FOODS (PREVIOUSLY MEMPHIS MEATS)
Matthew Leung is an engineer who has worked at Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats) since its inception. He is inventing cell‐bioreactor systems and production methods to generate cell based meats for food. Before joining Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats), Matthew was a research associate at the University of Washington, where he invented nanofiber based skin regeneration aid, and developed functional assays for biological responses to 3D tissue culture.
RESEARCH ENGINEER, PROCESS DEVELOPMENT, UPSIDE FOODS (PREVIOUSLY MEMPHIS MEATS)
Michaela Walker is passionate about working as part of outstanding teams to leverage biological research and engineering design for good. She has worked for Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats) since 2016, starting as a Research Scientist, then being promoted to Research Engineer. Michaela works with the cell culture and feed, looking for ways to make cell growth as efficient as possible, while removing any animal derived products from the cell growth process.
VENTURE CAPITALIST, DRAPER FISHER JURVETSON
Heidi Roizen has achieved success as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, corporate director, venture capitalist and educator. At the leading venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Heidi serves as an investment partner, where she provides strategic advice to the firm's portfolio companies, manages the internal services team, and helps to identify new investment opportunities. She also co‐leads the Entrepreneurial Leaders Fellowship program in the Stanford Technology Ventures group of the Engineering Department at Stanford University.
Mrunalini D. Parvataneni, M.D. (Dr. “P”), is a pediatric ophthalmologist specializing in comprehensive pediatric eye care as well as complex pediatric eye conditions. Dr. Parvataneni was born in India and grew up in Jamaica, where she began medical school at age 17. Outside of the office, Dr. Parvataneni spends her time serving on boards of various non-profits, all dedicated to the betterment of children. Her husband is Dr. Uma Valeti.
CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE GOOD FOOD INSTITUTE
Bruce Friedrich is Co‐Founder and Executive Director of The Good Food Institute (GFI), a nonprofit organization that promotes innovative alternatives to conventional meat, dairy products, and eggs. He is also Co‐Founder and adviser to impact venture funds New Crop Capital and Clear Current Capital, both of which invest in companies that are focused on transforming the future of food, though he has no financial interest in either fund. Bruce has penned op‐eds for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many other publications, and he has appeared on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, and a variety of programs on MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. Bruce co‐authored two books, contributed chapters to six more, and has written seven law review articles.
DIRECTOR OF POLICY, THE GOOD FOOD INSTITUTE
Jessica Almy oversees The Good Food Institute's work to create a better future of food through regulatory and statutory reform in Washington. She came to GFI from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, where she served as Deputy Director of Nutrition Policy. Before working for CSPI, she worked for the D.C.‐based law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal. She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and an M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University. She is a member of the bar in New York and Washington, D.C.
AUTHOR, " THE FATE OF FOOD: WHAT WE'LL EAT IN A BIGGER, HOTTER, SMARTER WORLD"
Amanda Little is a journalist, author, and educator whose reporting on energy and climate change has taken her all over the globe. She is the author of "The Fate of Food: What We'll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World", and "Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair With Energy" (HarperCollins). Amanda teaches investigative journalism at Vanderbilt University, where she is a Writer‐In‐Residence. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wired, the Washington Post, and New York magazine. She has interviewed key figures on all sides of the climate change debate, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, & James Inhofe.