For pioneering cell-based meats in Asia and the world
What does biotech and stem cells have to do with sustainability today? The answer lies in the food we eat: but a very new kind of food. And Sandhya Sriram is more than well-equipped to tell you everything about it. A scientist, entrepreneur, investor and mentor, she’s passionate about biotech and stem cells, and is on a quest to use biotechnology to disrupt Asia’s and the world’s food industry towards doing more good.
The food industry today, especially animal agriculture, is pretty unsustainable. And that’s an understatement. Between animal cruelty and massive environmental damage (think intensive resource use and dangerous levels of emissions and waste), the animal agriculture complex needs as much work as it can get. One emerging solution is cell-based meats, which harness technology to grow meat from cells instead of animals. This means instead of animals being forced to reproduce to meet our demand, animals are grown from cells instead. Yes, it’s not exactly vegan, since the cells are still animal cells—but it at least alleviates some of the harms of traditional animal agriculture.
Sandhya is one of the folks leading the way towards cell-based meats as a viable solution to our meat demand. With over ten years of experience working on muscle, adipose cells, and stem cells as a stem cell scientist, Sandhya completed four years of postdoctoral studies and then moved into a business development position at a biotech research institute. But her passion led her to do more: she always wanted to do meaningful science, and felt that she could start her own business to carry out that personal mission.
Today, Sandhya is the CEO and co-founder of Shiok Meats, the first cell-based clean meat business in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Their mission? To bring delicious, clean, and healthy seafood to your table. They produce crustaceans like shrimps, crabs, lobsters, and are the first in the world to do so using cellular agriculture technology. With Shiok Meats, Sandhya’s proving that sustainable options can rival traditional options in terms of taste, texture and nutrients. All while doing good for the animals and the planet. Sandhya’s been featured for her work on Forbes Women in Tech, is a TEDx speaker, and is also regularly involved in furthering science for good, whether that’s in publications, events or the innovation space.
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