The Future of Lab-Grown Meat
Sunday, July 12 | 4:00 – 4:45 pm
McCormick Place South, S100 Ballroom
Mark Post, MD, PhD, chair of Physiology and vice dean of Biomedical Technology at Maastricht University, will present “Advancing Food Technology: Culturing Meat Outside of the Animal” on Sunday afternoon. Post, who developed the world’s first lab-grown meat, will explore recent technological advances in the production of cultured beef from stem cells as well as consumer acceptance of alternative proteins. He will frame his discussion around big picture topics of food security, animal welfare, and sustainability. Additionally, he will discuss the challenges and the advancements made in culturing meat, which may impact new meat concepts in the future.
Mark Post first got involved in a Dutch government-funded program investigating “in vitro meat” in 2008, when he was a professor of tissue engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. The program had been initiated by Wilem van Eelen, an 86-year-old entrepreneur who held a long-time fascination for the possibility of culturing meat. When the director of the program fell ill, about mid-way through the program, Post took over supervision of the PhD students. Motivated by the potentially high societal impact, he continued research even after the funding had ended in 2010. Renewed funding by a private partner enabled the realization of a project to create a processed meat product using muscle cells from a cow.
Post received his medical degree from the University of Utrecht in 1982 and trained for a PhD in Pulmonary Pharmacology, graduating from the University of Utrecht in 1989. He joined the KNAW Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands before being appointed full-time assistant professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School in 1996. Five years later, he moved with his lab to Dartmouth Medical School and was appointed associate professor of Medicine and of Physiology.
In July 2002, Post returned to the Netherlands as a professor of Vascular Physiology at Maastricht University and professor of Angiogenesis in Tissue Engineering at the Technical University Eindhoven. Since January 2004, he has been chair of physiology and vice dean of Biomedical Technology at Maastricht University.