Background. Despite the destructive forces of factory farming and over-fishing, the global demand for meat, poultry, and seafood continues to grow. A new industry is shaping up to disrupt this trillion-dollar market: cultivated meat is real meat grown from animal cells in laboratories without slaughtering animals. By eliminating live animals from the food chain, cultivated meat would reduce food production’s environmental impact. By positioning production nearby consumption, fresh, safe products would be available to everyone, everywhere. To succeed requires designing and optimizing products and bioprocesses to compete with slaughtered meat in appearance, taste, texture, nutrition and cost.
Who we are. The Cultivated Meat Modeling Consortium (CMMC) was created to develop the computational modeling tools and expertise needed to accelerate design and optimization in the cultivated meat field. The rapidly growing CMMC membership includes diverse stakeholders from academic, industrial, and philanthropic organizations. (see thecmmc.org)
Opportunity. The research contract position offered is the first of its kind: an opportunity to work with the CMMC to attack directly one of the key challenges impeding commercialization of cultivated meat. The industry must create biomass (grow meat cells) at much higher efficiency than is possible using conventional bioreactors. A number of researchers are experimenting with new bioreactor designs. But, a reactor that works well at small scale will not necessarily scale-up: animal cells are particularly sensitive to concentration gradients and shear forces. Methods minimizing the former in a large tank tend to create more of the latter, defeating the hoped-for increased efficiency at scale. Understanding cell behaviors in combination with fluid flow in new bioreactor designs is crucial to gaining insight into scalability.
Goal. Our two-year project aims to develop a methodology integrating agent-based and computational fluid dynamics modeling for the purpose of predicting efficacy of new bioreactor designs. This position will focus on the agent-based modeling of proliferating cells as they respond to their fluid environment.
Details. Compensation is set by our sponsors at $55,000 per year for two years beginning as early as March 1, 2020 and will be administered through a contract by Biocellion SPC, a Washington State social purpose corporation. Software is to be released under open-source licenses and publication encouraged. Work hours are flexible and intended to be compatible with pursuit of an advanced degree in applied mathematics, bioengineering, scientific computing or a related field while physically located in Seattle.
- Collaborating with the diverse membership of the CMMC to further its overall purpose developing computational modeling technology for the cultivated meat field
- Developing, implementing, debugging and testing agent-based mathematical models of cells growing in Bioreactors
- Designing, carrying out, interpreting and communicating computational experiments in a consistent and reproducible manner
- Publishing and presenting results to a diverse technical audience
- Experience in C/C++
- Experience using Linux
- Experience with Numerical methods for solving PDE and ODEs; knowledge of CFD is a plus
- Desired but not necessarily required are knowledge of: Cell Biology, Systems Biology, Classical mechanics, High-performance computing