CAS & HARVARD

CAS & Harvard

Scroll
to read

Contents:

Introduction

Harvard Law School

Publications & Guest Lectures

CAS Launch

Harvard iLab

CAS Departure

People

Introduction

Our Collaboration with Harvard

We believe partnerships with the most influential global institutions are crucial for increasing awareness of cellular agriculture. Few rival Harvard University’s global recognition, academic and economic output, as well as their role serving as a pivotal player for innovation across the world. We’re proud of our many CAS affiliates who also share ties to Harvard. There are more than 20 CAS members who have diverse associations to Harvard, representing 12 out of the 15 schools at the university.

We are also honored to have had CAS be among the first to share the concept of cellular agriculture with and beyond the Harvard community through our guest lectures, publications, and partnerships such as with the Harvard Innovation Lab. These partnerships with Harvard are similarly extensive and varied - from collaborations with Harvard’s Library System to that of the schools of Business, Law, and Engineering. Below you can find more information on all of these efforts, as well as the people from Harvard who have worked with CAS to trailblaze cellular agriculture across all corners of the globe.

Harvard Law School

The Beginning of Our Work with Harvard

In 2017, as CAS Founder, Kristopher Gasteratos, was a student at Harvard, he became increasingly aware of the resources available to CAS, at the time an early conception of a nonprofit in development. One of the major support systems utilized in 2017, a year before our launch, was a collaboration with Harvard Law School’s TLC. Harvard’s TLC, or Transactional Law Clinics, are a conglomeration of clinics that provide legal assistance to Harvard-based entrepreneurs and founders. We were fortunate to establish a relationship with Joe Hedal of TLC, working through their Non-Profit Clinic on a range of legal proceedings associated with the founding of CAS as a registered 501c3 nonprofit.

After a couple of years of collaboration in 2019, as our university affiliation and geographical proximity was distancing from Harvard, our relationship with Harvard Law School’s TLC concluded. We remain grateful to Joe and his team at TLC for the mentorship and pro bono legal backing that CAS benefited from through the duration of our relationship.

Publications & Guest Lectures

Sharing Cellular Agriculture at Harvard & Beyond

In what would be the early days of CAS, before our launch in 2018, our Founder learned of a unique Harvard resource called DASH, offered by Harvard’s Library system. DASH is an online resource that provides digital access to scholarship at Harvard; it helps to enlarge both the audience and impact of Harvard-based work as its central, open-access repository is comprehensively indexed by search engines, aiding Harvard literature to reach academic and non-academic readers from all over the world.

It’s important to note that traditional publications were and still are important to our literary work at CAS. Media outlets like ABC Australia and the Financial Times, as well as peer-reviewed journals like Science and Meat Science are a few examples of outlets that featured previous work of Harvard-based CAS team members. But DASH, with its streamlined repository and lack of formatting limitations, would become an avenue for CAS Founder, Kristopher Gasteratos, to share some of his first works on cellular agriculture. These include Nature & the Neomnivore, a comprehensive (at the time of its release) outlook of cellular agriculture’s environmental impact, which would become a Harvard-trending literature in 2017, History & the Neomnivore, a collaboration between Kristopher and CAS Fellow, Colton Biehl, narratively exploring cellular agriculture through a historical lens, and the original report of Kristopher’s inaugural consumer acceptance study.

These early publications, as well as burgeoning relationships that CAS was building around the university, would bring cellular agriculture into a new spotlight at Harvard and beyond. Building up to the launch of CAS in 2018, an amazing team began to form around CAS, including many Harvard staff, students, and faculty. Of which, there was growing support from notable members of Harvard administration, student organizations, and professors to help share cellular agriculture with the broader community, outside of Harvard. This led to Kristopher and the first CAS Fellows to be invited to deliver the first talks on cellular agriculture at the university, as well as receive invitations to speak at nearby institutions like MIT. Outside of Boston and the US, this original CAS group gave talks on cellular agriculture abroad at places like NEMO Amsterdam, City University of London, and the Alternative Protein Show.

GUEST LECTURE ON THE SUSTAINABILITY
OF CELLULAR AGRICULTURE

CAS Launch

The Launch of The Cellular Agriculture Society

While there was an increase in external demand for CAS before our launch, the majority of preparation was taking place, internally. So much of what would become CAS progressed at Harvard’s libraries and various computer labs on campus. After years of preparation, including the onboarding of necessary legal, financial, and human resource requirements for CAS to be formalized as a US-based, international nonprofit, CAS was readying its launch for early 2018.

On March 9th, 2018, in a small, Harvard computer lab on Church Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, CAS was born; we launched with the release of our original website. This day would later become an important annual milestone for the most important projects at CAS (internally referred to as, “CAS Day”), including 90 Reasons launching March 9th 2019, and the release of our award-winning website on March 9th, 2020. But the original, March 9th, 2018 marked the beginning of all that would become CAS for years to come.

Harvard iLab

CAS Becomes a VIP Venture at the Harvard Innovation Lab

Shortly after our launch, we were made aware of an accelerator on campus called the Harvard Innovation Lab. We learned that it could help our young nonprofit continue its momentum, post-launch. As explained on their website, Harvard Business School’s Innovation Lab, or iLab for short, is a highly selective collection of startups with recognized potential. If received, Harvard iLab VIP status signifies a formal partnership between the awardee and the President and Fellows of Harvard College. We eventually applied to join the Harvard Innovation Lab for admittance in the upcoming summer.

In June of 2018, we received the humbling notice that CAS was accepted as a VIP venture and would have available the iLab’s valuable resources and connections.

Harvard iLab Orientation Day (From left to right: Mike Selden of Finless Foods; CAS Fellow, Shuo Li Liu; and CAS Founder, Kristopher Gasteratos)

CAS Departure

Relocation From Harvard & Final DASH Publication

Harvard was and still is the home for so much that became CAS. The people in the Boston area, critical relationships established in the region with institutions like the MIT Press and companies like Elsevier, as well as the diverse landscape of university resources, all shaped what CAS had become by 2018.

But after a couple of years building and launching our nonprofit at Harvard, the utility of remaining at the university had diminished. It was becoming obvious that it was time for CAS to move on and begin the process of leaving the many roots we had built in Cambridge. One of many reasons as an impetus, CAS Founder, Kristopher Gasteratos, was increasingly spending more time with CAS over responsibilities at Harvard. And while he notes his enrollment as a student and researcher at Harvard as being invaluable, he ultimately spent more time devoted to cellular agriculture than to his schoolwork; this led to his dropping out to work at CAS full-time in 2018.

This academic conclusion, among other factors, including fundraising success after our launch, compounded in 2018 and allowed us to look towards the future. We felt a new environment would be productive in the critical, early years that CAS was experiencing; it would help us further define our vision for our organization and facilitate our strategic future for what we can contribute to cellular agriculture. Meanwhile, the CAS team, consisting of a growing number of Fellows, Advisors, and Alumni continued to give presentations regularly on campus and generally, advance cellular agriculture across Harvard and abroad.

A few notable examples of CAS work at this time include the start of the CAS Textbook, which began in the Summer of 2018 working with Elsevier, located in Cambridge, multiple guest lectures facilitated by new CAS Advisors, and an effort by a group of CAS Fellows to develop a potential CellAg course at Harvard, which made substantial progress and laid a foundation for future endeavors.

Towards the end of 2018, as the year and our time at Harvard was coming to a close, we felt a special effort should coincide with our quickly-approaching departure from Harvard. This was especially noteworthy considering how CAS leaving Harvard was aligning, chronologically, with the anniversary of our initial CAS Launch (March 9th). Coincidentally enough, the preparation of a long-standing project was also coming to a close; it was a piece of literature, years in the making, that would become one of the top, awareness-building ideas to come out of CAS.

Over the subsequent months, we worked with dozens of stakeholders in the cellular agriculture field and our Harvard colleagues to develop the work that would become 90 Reasons to Consider Cellular Agriculture. This once again offered a collaboration opportunity with our friends at Harvard Library's Office for Scholarly Communication & Digital Access to Scholarship. 90 Reasons was released on March 9th, 2019, representing a landmark project for the CellAg field with over 40 stakeholders working together to create a comprehensive list of cellular agriculture’s potential benefits. It would later become a university-wide trending literature and receive critical acclaim inside the cellular agriculture world and out.

The release of 90 Reasons marked the inflection point for CAS moving. It signified an important milestone for our relationship with Harvard; one where we originally had the privilege of sharing the concept of cellular agriculture with hundreds of students on campus, then with the launch of CAS, sharing CellAg with thousands around the world through our website and conferences; lastly, through 90 Reasons, our reach for cellular agriculture had expanded to over ten thousand readers within the first few months of its publication

You can directly access 90 Reasons here, made publicly available by Harvard DASH, or read our article to explore the project’s history, development, and achievements.

So much of our organizational development took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and we felt incredibly grateful to have met so many people in the region that would help us build CAS. Our relationship with Harvard continues through our support of Harvard-based CAS Fellows, ongoing work with Harvard-based CAS Advisors and textbook authors, regular visits to give guest lectures on campus, and our role serving as an Alumni of the Harvard Innovation Lab. We are also grateful for the continued awareness-building of cellular agriculture that is graciously facilitated through Harvard’s DASH system, extending our various work on cellular agriculture to tens of thousands across the world, offering readership for free, 24/7/365.

People

Harvard Affiliates Working with CAS

There have been dozens of Harvard students, faculty and staff who have worked on projects with us, ranging from authors of the CAS textbook to forging collaborations with various schools at the university. We are proud of the many advisors and fellows of CAS who are currently or previously were members of the Harvard community, all pushing forward our mission to increase international awareness of cellular agriculture.

CAS Founder, Kristopher Gasteratos (left) and CAS Fellow, Andrew Goldwasser (right)

  • Professor, Medical School & Wyss Institute

    Dr. George Church

    George Church is a member of the CAS Advisory Board. He is an American geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist, widely recognized for his innovative contributions to genomic science and his many pioneering contributions to chemistry and biomedicine. In 1984, he developed the first direct genomic sequencing method, which resulted in the first genome sequence. He helped initiate the Human Genome Project in 1984 and the Personal Genome Project in 2005.

    Church is the Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT, and a founding member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. He is Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Technology Center and Director of the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Genomic Science. He has received numerous awards including Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today”, the 2011 Bower Award, Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute and election to the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering.

  • Professor, Department of Psychology

    Dr. Steven Pinker

    Steven Pinker is a member of the CAS Advisory Board. He is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his nine books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Sense of Style.

    Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He is an advocate of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind and his academic specializations are visual cognition and psycholinguistics. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”

  • Professor, Department of Psychology

    Dr. Christine Korsgaard

    Christine Korsgaard is a member of the CAS Advisory Board. She is an American philosopher who has held positions at Yale, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago, as well as visiting positions at Berkeley and UCLA. Korsgaard has also served as President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association and held a Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award from 2006-2009.

    Korsgaard is an Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. Her research is in moral philosophy and its history, practical reason, the nature of agency, personal identity, normativity, and the ethical relations between human beings and the other animals.

  • Lecturer, Department of Sociology

    Dr. Shai Dromi

    Shai Dromi is a member of the CAS Advisory Board. He is an Israeli comparative-historical sociologist and Associate Editor of the American Journal of Cultural Sociology. Dromi also holds memberships at the American Sociological Association, the Eastern Sociological Society, the Social Science History Association, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. His book, “Above the Fray”, received the Marvin B. Sussman Prize from Yale University and an honorable mention for the Theda Skocpol Best Dissertation Award from the American Sociological Association.

    Dromi is a lecturer of Sociology at Harvard University. He teaches courses in areas of organizations, global and transnational sociology, cultural sociology, and sociological theory. His work has appeared in journals such as Rural Sociology, Sociological Theory & Society, and Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity, receiving the Outstanding Published Article Award.

  • Lecturer, Center for the Environment

    Dr. Laurence Simon

    Laurence Simon is a member of the CAS Advisory Board. He is an American environmentalist and global health expert. Simon has served as a senior advisor to the Google Foundation and the World Bank, the Associate Dean at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, program director for Oxfam America, launching its first work in Central America and the Caribbean, and was recently appointed by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to design a new premiere university. Simon also founded the American Jewish World Service in the 1980s and directed the establishment of UN World Food Programme operations.

    Simon is a Professor of International Development and Director of the Center for Global Development and Sustainability at Brandeis University, and teaches at Harvard University during Summer Semesters. His research focuses on the philosophy of development, social determinants of health and well-being, political/cultural and population geography, psychological and cultural barriers to poverty reduction, caste and social exclusion studies, agrarian reform, post-harvest technology transfer, social exclusion and emancipatory development, and higher education curriculum design and governance.

  • Alumnus Professor, Harvard Medical School

    Dr. Nir Eyal

    Nir Eyal is a member of the CAS Advisory Board. He is an Israeli public health expert and bioethicist who moved from Harvard to Rutgers in 2019 to become the inaugural Henry Rutgers Professor of Bioethics, with appointments at the School of Public Health and Philosophy. He currently serves as the director of the Rutgers Center for Population-Level Bioethics.

    Prior to moving to Rutgers in 2019, Nir served as an Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine (Bioethics) at Harvard Medical School. He was also appointed at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Global Health and Population, and at the Harvard Program in Ethics and Health. He also previously served as a Faculty Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University. Prior to joining Harvard, Nir was the Harold T. Shapiro Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioethics at the Center for Human Values of Princeton University and previously, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Clinical Bioethics of the National Institutes of Health. He holds a DPhil in Politics from Oxford University, an MA in Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

  • Film Director, Harvard University

    Michael Van Devere

    Michael Van Devere is a member of the CAS Advisory Board. He is an American, Harvard-based film director, producer, author, painter, and founder of independent film company, Fabular Films. He started his studies of the fine arts at Houston’s acclaimed High School of the Performing and Visual Arts. He would later study filmmaking at New York's School of Visual Arts, and English Literature at Harvard University. His specialities include producing, directing, screenwriting, film & digital editing, costume & set design, and graphic design.

    Michael has produced several short and feature-length films through Fabular Films including John Harvard, American Sleeper, Between Two Friends, and PERKINS 28. He is the author of works such as The Wheels and Saal, and his short stories have appeared in Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly and Fresh Men 2: New Voices in Gay Fiction.

  • MA, Extension School Management

    Haroon Chaudhary

    Haroon Chaudhary is a member of the CAS Advisory Board. He is a Pakistani serial entrepreneur and businessman; founder of the web development company, Creanyx, where he has served as Director and COO. Haroon has also launched and executively led multiple other ventures, including his work as Director of Marketing & Sales at Medheave Healthcare Services. He was instrumental to the development of the original CAS Website and continues to provide support through his role as an advisor.

    Haroon received his BS in Computer Science at the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, based in Islamabad, Pakistan. He then went on to pursue his Master’s in Management at Harvard, receiving his Master of Liberal Arts in 2018.

  • Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts & Sciences

    Shuo Li Liu

    Shuo Li Liu is a former CAS Fellow and member of the CAS Advisory Board. He is a Chinese economist and Mathematician, responsible for spearheading various initiatives at CAS. These include, but are not limited to, starting multiple CellAg student organizations around the world, authoring various textbook chapters and publications, including a report published in Science, helping to establish CAS partnership strategy, including acceptance of CAS as a VIP Venture in Harvard Business School’s iLab, delivering a number of guest lectures, and has built key institutional and government partnerships for CAS including with the UN.

    Liu is a research fellow at the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University. He is also pursuing his PhD in Computational Mathematics at Stanford.

  • MBA, Harvard Business School

    Taro Tan

    Taro Tan is a former CAS Fellow and legal associate, who has held positions in Private Equity and Investment Banking, working at companies such as Kirkland & Ellis, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, and Moelis & Company. Taro, originally from Singapore, received his Bachelor’s in Law from Cambridge University and served as the President of the Sir David Williams Law Society, prior to pursuing his graduate studies at Harvard.

    Taro graduated with his LLM from Harvard Law School in 2018 and completed his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2020. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School Student Publication, the Singapore Policy Journal.

  • BS, Statistics & Energy and Environment

    Miela Foster

    Miela Foster is a former CAS Fellow and statistician, currently working as an Engineering Project Manager at Apple. She is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan and is the founder of Oak Systems, also serving as COO.

    Miela graduated from Harvard in 2021 with her Bachelor’s degree in Statistics; Secondary, in Energy and Environment. During her time at Harvard, she was actively engaged at the university, holding positions with the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations, Association of Black Harvard Women Alums, Harvard Student Agencies, the Harvard Kennedy School, as well as serving as an undergraduate research fellow with Professor John H Shaw’s group.

  • Research Fellow, Harvard Law School

    Rohini Banskota

    Rohini is a former CAS Fellow and food systems professional who has held positions in the plant-based and cell-based meat industries, working at Impossible Foods and Finless Foods, respectively. She received her Master’s from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and served as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Alternative Meat Lab.

    Rohini is a clinical research fellow at Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Program. Her work focuses on understanding complex system-level landscapes and identifying avenues and barriers for change, including policy analysis of biogas capture and production at animal agriculture facilities.

  • AB, Philosophy and Computer Science

    Matthew Mandel

    Matthew is a former CAS Fellow and agriculture specialist, who has held positions such as Operations Executive Analyst and Farm Development Associate at AeroFarms. He is a previous Lester Kissel Grant award recipient for his studies of philosophy at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University.

    Matthew graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in 2019 with his Bachelor’s Philosophy; Secondary in Computer Science. His senior thesis on Kant’s ethical theory, entitled “The Normative Question: A Constitutive Account of What We Should Do and Why”, won the Carrier Prize in 2019. Matthew was also a member of Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa Society.

  • AB, Political Science and Government

    Felipe Espitia

    Felipe Espitia is a CAS Fellow and economist, currently working at the hedge fund, Citadel, on Wall Street. He is originally from Colombia and has held positions at Goldman Sachs, Harvard’s Kennedy School, and the Phillips Brooks House.

    Felipe graduated Cum Laude from Harvard in 2019 with his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government; Secondary, in Anthropology and Archaeology. During his time at Harvard, he was actively engaged at the university, holding positions with Harvard Mentors for Urban Debate, Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, Harvard Democrats Policy and Publicity Committee, Colombian Student Association, and the Harvard Africa Business and Investment Club.

  • Former Student, Faculty of Arts & Sciences

    Kristopher Gasteratos

    Kristopher is the Founder, President, and Creative Director at CAS. During his time as a student at Harvard, he published multiple works for cellular agriculture, including 90 Reasons to Consider Cellular Agriculture, as well as works in peer-reviewed journals such as Science and Meat Science. The launch of CAS itself took place at Harvard in 2018, as well as the development of a number of critical CAS relationships, including many Harvard-based CAS Fellows and Advisors. Although Kristopher notes his enrollment as a student and researcher at Harvard was important, he ultimately spent more time devoted to cellular agriculture and CAS than to his school work; this led to his dropping out to work at CAS full-time later in 2018.

    To learn more about the story of CAS and Kristopher, please read Our Story.

Throughout this section, you can find many notable Harvard-based CAS Advisors and Fellows, but we wanted to take this opportunity to also thank a few other special members of the Harvard community who have helped make a difference in CAS over the years. Such a list would be too long if it were to be exhaustive, but some of those individuals include: Joe Hedal (Harvard Law School | TLC), Emily Wu (HKS | CAS Textbook Author), Luke MacQueen (SEAS | CAS Textbook Author), Dr. Kit Parker (SEAS | CAS Textbook Author), Christophe Chantre (SEAS | CAS Textbook Author), Grant Gonzalez (SEAS | CAS Textbook Author), Michael Rosnach (SEAS | CAS Textbook Author), John Zimmerman (SEAS | CAS Textbook Author), Bob (Harvard Bus System), Jack (Harvard Bus System), Rick (Cronkhite Cafe), Ashley Davis (MA | Author), and many more.