Zero to One on the basic science behind cultivated meat

Nathan Merzvinskis
3 min readMar 8, 2021


16 hours (4 x 4hrs) of modules to get you from zero to one on the foundations of the science behind cultivated meat.

Module 1: Cell Culture Basics
Module 2: Cell Sources
Module 3: Culture Medium
Module 4: Process Monitoring

These learning modules were created by Stacey Skaalure, PhD, in 2020 for myself and Andreas Limberopoulos. The TL;DR is that Andreas and I became interested in cultivated meat as a solution to the negative externalities of industrial animal agriculture. However, we didn’t have backgrounds in relevant scientific fields and we wanted to understand the foundations of the science behind cultivated meat so that we could better assess the viability of it as a technology for alternative protein production.

When we searched online, most of the resources we found assumed a level of scientific background that we didn’t have or were too surface level — and we didn’t want to enrol in a lengthy undergrad course where only a portion of the course content would be relevant. So we set out to find someone who could help ramp us from zero to one of the basics, and that is how we met Stacey.

Stacey built these learning modules for us with the intention that each module would take approx. 4 hours to complete (16 hours all up). She pulled together relevant open access online resources and curated them in a tailored learning journey with accompanying study questions. With Stacey’s blessing, we have decided to open source these learning modules with the hope that it will spur further education, employment and company creation in the field. We are so grateful for the work that Stacey put into these and we hope that you find them as useful as we did. We’d also like to note that this is not a comprehensive overview of the end-to-end process of cultivated meat, it is very much intended to be a primer for people who are new to the field.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the Medium article of that module. We have also linked to the responses to the study questions at the bottom of each module which are in Google Docs. Everyone has comment rights to the docs, so if you see something that you feel should be updated or have a question specific to one of the study questions, feel free to leave it in the Google Doc. If you can answer any questions from others that you see, please go for it!

Lastly, I’d like to make a special mention of the Good Food Institute (GFI) and Elliot Swartz’s blog. GFI is such a proactive body of smart and passionate individuals that are driving the alternative protein movement forward. They have a bunch of great resources that made it easy for us to quickly get up to speed on the alt protein ecosystem and people like Blake Byrne & Elliot Swartz have been really generous with their time when we’ve had questions. If you’re not already a member of GFI, I’d suggest signing up to stay across what they publish to the world.


Nathan Merzvinskis