Utku Ergun | Junior Scientist
Mosa Meat

Utku Ergun, Junior Scientist, Mosa Meat

Utku is a cellular biologist who works with muscle stem cells to grow them into myofibers inside juicy burgers! Currently he is working as a Junior Scientist in Mosa Meat, one of the leading cultured meat companies that aims to reshape the food system in an environmentally friendly way. There, he develops lab automation-assisted compound screening pipelines for bovine muscle stem cells, aiming to improve muscle maturation. Previously, he completed his M.Sc. in Biology from Georgia Tech as a Fulbright Scholar, where he researched the effects of oxidative stress on muscle regeneration in Jang Lab.


Day 2 (27th June) @ 13:00

Growing beef with robots: Building a robust lab automation pipeline for cultured meat research

Mosa Meat is developing cultured beef, using cells taken painlessly from a live cow to grow a burger. Our process involves meticulously growing fat and muscle cells to replicate the taste and nutritional profile of conventional burgers. To assist the scientists and engineers in optimizing fat and muscle differentiation for production, the Automation Team at Mosa Meat serves hardware needs across the company, from high-throughput screening to large custom cell cultivators. In this session, we will focus on the smaller scale, looking at the pivotal role of the lab automation group in developing screening pipelines. In close collaboration with researchers, we've automated processes otherwise validated in suspension culture in well plate assays using off-the-shelf liquid handlers like the Opentrons OT-2 and the Tecan Fluent. We'll share insights into enhancing the traceability and reliability of our liquid handling work using tools such as Google Sheets, Google App Scripts, Python, and GitLab and share challenges we faced along the way. Furthermore, we'll take a deep dive into how liquid handlers and rapid prototyping tools have been instrumental in optimizing our fat differentiation media.Lastly, we will look into custom-manufactured systems created in-house at Mosa to answer questions beyond well plate assays, such as questions about media reduction and cell feeding strategies for larger cultures. We are continuously improving the cost and quality of our cultured burgers, and lab automation has become an integral part of this work.

last published: 17/Apr/24 08:15 GMT

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