GFI’s Inaugural Competitive Research Grant Program

We are delighted to announce the inaugural GFI grant recipients. In the coming months we will introduce each of these scientists and share more about the plant-based and cell-based research projects they are launching.

Cell-Based Meat Research Projects

Dr. Ivana Gadjanski, Research Fellow, BioSense Institute, University of Novi Sad, Serbia, Monitoring of cell culture parameters using sensors for biomass and nutrients/metabolites in media: lab-on-a-chip (LOC) approach
Technology areas addressed: cell culture, bioreactor development
Dr. Mariana Petronela Hanga, Lecturer of Biological Engineering, Aston University, UK, Advancing the production of clean beef towards commercialisation
Technology areas addressed: bioprocess, scale-up
Prof. Marcelle Machluf, Dean-Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel, Designing a clean meat platform based on scalable cellular building blocks and matching processing methodologies
Technology areas addressed: scaffolding, bioprocess
Dr. Amy Rowat, Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, Plant-based scaffolds for marbled clean beef
Technology areas addressed: scaffolding, cell culture
Dr. Peter Stogios, Senior Research Associate, University of Toronto, Canada, Addressing a major cost driver in the commercialization of clean meat – discovery and engineering of synthetic growth factors
Technology areas addressed: media optimization, scale-up
Dr. Gareth Sullivan, Group Leader, Norwegian Stem Cell Centre, University of Oslo, Norway, Clean Meat Cell Line Repository: The Frozen Farmyard
Technology areas addressed: cell line development, cell culture

Plant-Based Meat Research Projects

Dr. Ofir Benjamin, Lecturer & Researcher, Tel Hai College, Israel, Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) as a raw material for plant-based meat products
Technology areas addressed: crop optimization, ingredient processing, product formulation
Dr. Filiz Koksel, Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba, Canada, In-line structural, textural and nutritional quality monitoring and manipulation during processing of plant-based meats
Technology areas addressed: processing conditions, manufacturing technologies
Dr. Jian Li, Associate Professor, Beijing Technology and Business University, China, Identification and comparison of beany off-flavor in pea bean proteins
Technology areas addressed: processing conditions, ingredient characterization
Dr. Mario Martinez, Assistant Professor, University of Guelph, Canada, Whole muscle tissue engineering through the innovative combination of microstructure engineering and high moisture extrusion
Technology areas addressed: manufacturing technologies, product development
Dr. Ricardo San Martin, Research Director & Industry Fellow, Alt.Meat Program, University of California, Berkeley, USA, Incorporation of oil in plant-based meats
Technology areas addressed: ingredient development, product formulation
Dr. Dil Thavarajah, Associate Professor, Clemson University, USA, Breeding organic pulse and cereal crops towards protein biofortification – characterization of organic field pea and sorghum protein ingredients suitable for complete plant-based meat products
Technology areas addressed: crop optimization, ingredient processing
Dr. Raivo Vilu, R&D Director, TFTAK (Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies), Estonia, Fermentation of oat protein for application in extruded meat analogs
Technology areas addressed: processing conditions, manufacturing technologies
Ms. Beth Zotter, President, Trophic LLC, USA, Protein products from red seaweeds
Technology areas addressed: ingredient characterization, protein extraction methodology

For updates on these research projects and all other science-related GFI news, follow us on Twitter at @GoodFoodScience.

This program is made possible thanks to generous donors. Philanthropic support is vital to GFI's mission. To discuss how you can be part of this transformative work with your gift or grant, please contact GFI development director Clare Bland at