Past Member

Isha Datar

Former Director's Fellow
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Isha Datar has been a pioneer in the emerging field of cellular agriculture since 2009, when she began an investigation into the technical challenges and opportunities in producing cultured meat. The following year, Datar published "Possibilities for an in-vitro meat production system" in the journal, Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies. She discovered that cellular agriculture research was held back—not by a lack of interest or expertise, but by a lack of funding channels for this intersectional work. Thus began her quest to establish the field of animal products made without animals. A stint in policy and public affairs at GlaxoSmithKline illuminated cooperative efforts among non-profits, academia, and companies to translate beneficial science out of the lab and into society. Datar has used a medical research model to accelerate cellular agriculture, by funding early stage, foundational research in academia to enable ready-to-market technologies to be developed for commercial use. In 2013, she became Executive Director of New Harvest. She co-founded Muufri, making milk without cows, in April 2014 and Clara Foods, making eggs without chickens, in November that year. Datar has a BSc in cell and molecular biology from the University of Alberta and a master’s in biotechnology from the University of Toronto.