From Fauna & Harvard

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Harvard Law School

Publications & Guest Lectures

From Fauna Launch

Harvard iLab

From Fauna Departure



Our Collaboration with Harvard

We believe partnerships with the most influential global institutions are crucial for increasing awareness of cultivated meat. Few rival Harvard University’s global recognition, academic/economic output, and role serving as a pivotal player for innovation across the world. We’re proud of our many From Fauna affiliates who share ties to Harvard. There are more than 20 From Fauna members who have diverse associations with Harvard, representing 12 out of the 15 schools at the university.

We are also honored to have had From Fauna be among the first to share the concept of cultivated meat with and beyond the Harvard community through our guest lectures, publications, and partnerships such as with the Harvard Innovation Lab. These relationships are similarly extensive and varied, ranging from collaborations with Harvard’s Library System to the schools of Business, Law, and Engineering. Below you can find more information on all of these efforts, as well as the people from Harvard who have worked with From Fauna to trailblaze cultivated meat across all corners of the globe.

Harvard Law School

The Beginning of Our Work with Harvard

In 2017, while From Fauna Founder, Kris Spiros, was a student at Harvard, he became increasingly aware of the resources available to From Fauna. At the time, the developing idea of From Fauna was merely an early conception of our nonprofit. One of the strongest collaborations he formed in the year leading up to our launch was with Harvard Law School’s TLC. Harvard’s TLC, or Transactional Law Clinics, are a conglomeration of clinics that provide legal assistance to Harvard-based entrepreneurs and founders. We were fortunate to establish a relationship with Joe Hedal of TLC, working through their Non-Profit Clinic on a range of legal proceedings associated with the founding of From Fauna as a registered 501c3 nonprofit.

After a few years of fruitful collaboration, our university affiliation and geographical proximity began distancing from Harvard. Our relationship subsequently concluded with Harvard Law School’s TLC in 2019. We remain grateful to Joe and his team at TLC for the mentorship and pro bono legal backing that From Fauna benefited from throughout the duration of our relationship.

Publications & Guest Lectures

Sharing Cultivated Meat at Harvard & Beyond

In what would be the early days of From Fauna, before our launch in 2018, our Founder learned of a unique Harvard resource called DASH, offered by Harvard’s Library system. DASH is an online resource that provides Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard; it helps to extend both the audience and impact of Harvard-based work, as its central, open-access repository is comprehensively indexed by search engines, thus enabling Harvard literature to reach academic and non-academic readers from all over the world.

It’s important to note that traditional publications were, and still are, important to our literary work at From Fauna. Media outlets like ABC Australia and the Financial Times, as well as peer-reviewed journals such as Science and Meat Science, are just a few examples of outlets that featured previous work of Harvard-based From Fauna team members. But DASH, with its streamlined repository and lack of formatting limitations, would become an avenue for From Fauna Founder, Kris Spiros, to share some of his first works on cultivated meat.

These include Nature & the Neomnivore, a comprehensive (at the time of its release) outlook of cultivated meat’s potential environmental impact, which would become a Harvard-trending literature in 2017, History & the Neomnivore, a collaboration between Kris and From Fauna Fellow, Colton Biehl, narratively exploring cultivated meat through a historical lens, and the original report of Kris' inaugural consumer acceptance study.

These early publications, as well as burgeoning relationships that From Fauna was building around the university, would bring cultivated meat into a new spotlight at Harvard and beyond. Building up to the launch of From Fauna in 2018, an amazing team began to form around From Fauna, including many Harvard staff, students, and faculty. Of which, there was growing support from notable members of Harvard administration, student organizations, and professors to help share cultivated meat with the broader community outside of Harvard.

This led to Kris and the first From Fauna Fellows to be invited to deliver the first talks on cultivated meat at the university, as well as receive invitations to speak at nearby institutions like MIT. Outside of Boston and the US, this original From Fauna group gave talks on cultivated meat abroad at places like NEMO Amsterdam, City University of London, and San Francisco’s Alternative Protein Show.


From Fauna Launch

The Launch of From Fauna

While there was an increase in external demand for From Fauna before our launch to partake in guest lectures and developing cultivated meat research and literature, the majority of preparation was taking place internally. So much of what would become From Fauna progressed at Harvard’s libraries and various computer labs on campus. After years of preparation, including the onboarding of necessary legal, financial, and human resource requirements for From Fauna to be formalized as a US-based, international nonprofit, From Fauna was ready for its launch in early 2018.

On March 9th, 2018, in a small, Harvard computer lab on Church Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, From Fauna was born; we launched with the release of our original website. This day would later become an annual milestone marker for the most important projects at From Fauna (internally referred to as, “From Fauna Day”), including 90 Reasons launching March 9th 2019, and the release of our award-winning website on March 9th, 2020. But the original, March 9th, 2018 marked the beginning of all that would become From Fauna for years to come.

Harvard iLab

From Fauna Becomes a VIP Venture at the Harvard Innovation Lab

Shortly after our launch, we were made aware of an accelerator on campus called the Harvard Innovation Lab. We learned that it could help our young nonprofit continue its momentum, post-launch. As explained on their website, Harvard Business School’s Innovation Lab, or iLab for short, is a highly selective collection of startups with recognized potential. If received, Harvard iLab VIP status signifies a formal partnership between the awardee and the President and Fellows of Harvard College. We eventually applied to join the Harvard Innovation Lab for admittance in the upcoming summer.

In June of 2018, we received the humbling notice that From Fauna was accepted as a VIP venture at Harvard Business School’s Harvard Innovation Lab; this would grant us access to the iLab’s valuable resources and connections.

Harvard iLab Orientation Day (From left to right: Mike Selden of Finless Foods; From Fauna Fellow, Shuo Li Liu; and From Fauna Founder, Kris Spiros)

From Fauna Departure

Relocation From Harvard & Final DASH Publication

Harvard was and still is the home for so much that became From Fauna. The people in the Boston area, critical relationships established in the region with institutions like the MIT Press and companies like Elsevier, as well as the diverse landscape of university resources, all shaped what From Fauna had become by 2018.

But after a couple of years building and launching our nonprofit at Harvard, the utility of remaining at the university was limited. It was becoming obvious that it was time for From Fauna to move on and begin the process of leaving the many roots we had built in Cambridge. One of many reasons for this impetus was that From Fauna Founder, Kris Spiros, was increasingly devoting more time to From Fauna than to his academic responsibilities. And while he notes his enrollment as a student and researcher at Harvard as being invaluable, he ultimately spent more time devoted to cultivated meat than to his schoolwork; this led to his dropping out to work at From Fauna full-time in 2018.

This academic conclusion, among other factors, including fundraising success after our launch, allowed us to look towards the future. We felt a completely new environment would be productive in the critical, early years that From Fauna was experiencing; it would help us further define our vision for our organization and facilitate our strategic future for what we could contribute to cultivated meat. Meanwhile, the From Fauna team, consisting of a growing number of Harvard-based Fellows, Advisors, and Alumni, continued to give presentations regularly on campus and generally, went on to advance cultivated meat across the university and abroad.

A few notable examples of From Fauna work during this time include the start of the From Fauna Textbook, which began in the Summer of 2018 through our collaboration with Cambridge-based publisher, Elsevier, multiple guest lectures facilitated by new From Fauna Advisors, and an effort by a group of From Fauna Fellows to develop a comprehensive cultivated meat course at Harvard, which made substantial progress and laid a foundation for future endeavors.

Towards the end of 2018, as the year and our time at Harvard was coming to a close, we felt a special effort should coincide with our fast-approaching departure. This was especially noteworthy considering how From Fauna leaving Harvard was aligning, chronologically, with the anniversary of our initial From Fauna Launch (March 9th). Coincidentally enough, the preparation of a long-standing project was also coming to a close; it was a piece of literature, years in the making, that would become one of the top, awareness-building projects to come out of From Fauna.

Over the subsequent months, we worked with dozens of stakeholders in the cultivated meat field and our Harvard colleagues to develop the work that would become 90 Reasons to Consider Cultivated Meat. This once again offered a collaboration opportunity with our friends at Harvard Library's Office for Scholarly Communication & Digital Access to Scholarship. 90 Reasons was released on March 9th, 2019, representing a landmark project for the Cultivated Meat field with over 40 stakeholders working together to create a comprehensive list of cultivated meat's potential benefits. It would later become a university-wide trending literature and receive critical acclaim inside the cultivated meat world and well beyond.

The release of 90 Reasons marked the inflection point for From Fauna moving. It signified an important milestone for our relationship with Harvard; one where we originally had the privilege of sharing the concept of cultivated meat with just hundreds of students on campus, then with the launch of From Fauna, we were able to share Cultivated Meat with thousands around the world through our website and conferences, and lastly, through the publication of 90 Reasons, our reach for cultivated meat had expanded to tens of thousands of readers.

You can directly access 90 Reasons here, made publicly available by Harvard DASH, or read our article to explore the project’s history, development, and achievements.

So much of our organizational development took place at this special institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts; we feel incredibly grateful to have met so many people in the region that would help us build From Fauna during our earliest years. Our relationship with Harvard continues through our support of Harvard-based From Fauna Fellows, ongoing work with Harvard-based From Fauna Advisors, and textbook authors, regular visits to give guest lectures on campus, and our role serving as an Alumnus of the Harvard Innovation Lab. We are also grateful for the continued awareness-building of cultivated meat that is graciously facilitated through Harvard’s DASH system, which continues to extend our various works on cultivated meat to so many across the world, offering readership for free, 24/7/365.


Harvard Affiliates Working with From Fauna

There have been dozens of Harvard students, faculty and staff who have worked on projects with us, ranging from authors of the From Fauna textbook to those involved in forging collaborations with various schools at the university. We are proud of the many advisors and fellows of From Fauna who are current or former members of the Harvard community, all pushing forward our mission to increase international awareness of cultivated meat.

  • Professor, Medical School & Wyss Institute

    Dr. George Church

    George Church is a member of the From Fauna Advisory Board. He is an American geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist, widely recognized for his innovative contributions to genomic science and his many pioneering contributions to chemistry and biomedicine. In 1984, he developed the first direct genomic sequencing method, which resulted in the first genome sequence. He helped initiate the Human Genome Project in 1984 and the Personal Genome Project in 2005.

    Church is the Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT, and a founding member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. He is Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Technology Center and Director of the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Genomic Science. He has received numerous awards including Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today”, the 2011 Bower Award, Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute, as well as election to the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering.

  • Professor, Department of Psychology

    Dr. Steven Pinker

    Steven Pinker is a member of the From Fauna Advisory Board. He is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his nine books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Sense of Style.

    Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He is an advocate of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind, and his academic specializations are visual cognition and psycholinguistics. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”

  • Professor, Department of Philosophy

    Dr. Christine Korsgaard

    Christine Korsgaard is a member of the From Fauna Advisory Board. She is an American philosopher who has held positions at Yale, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago, as well as visiting positions at Berkeley and UCLA. Korsgaard has also served as President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association and held a Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award from 2006-2009.

    Korsgaard is an Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. Her research is in moral philosophy and its history, practical reason, the nature of agency, personal identity, normativity, and the ethical relations between human beings and the other animals.

  • Lecturer, Department of Sociology

    Dr. Shai Dromi

    Shai Dromi is a member of the From Fauna Advisory Board. He is an Israeli comparative-historical sociologist and Associate Editor of the American Journal of Cultural Sociology. Dromi also holds memberships at the American Sociological Association, the Eastern Sociological Society, the Social Science History Association, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. His book, “Above the Fray”, received the Marvin B. Sussman Prize from Yale University and an honorable mention for the Theda Skocpol Best Dissertation Award from the American Sociological Association.

    Dromi is a lecturer of Sociology at Harvard University. He teaches courses in areas of organizations, global and transnational sociology, cultural sociology, and sociological theory. His work has appeared in journals such as Rural Sociology, Sociological Theory & Society, and Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity, receiving the Outstanding Published Article Award.

  • Lecturer, Center for the Environment

    Dr. Laurence Simon

    Laurence Simon is a member of the From Fauna Advisory Board. He is an American environmentalist and global health expert. Simon has served as a senior advisor to the Google Foundation and the World Bank, the Associate Dean at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, program director for Oxfam America, leading the launch of its first work in Central America and the Caribbean, and was recently appointed by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to design a new premier university. Simon also founded the American Jewish World Service in the 1980’s and directed the establishment of UN World Food Programme operations.

    Simon is a Professor of International Development and Director of the Center for Global Development and Sustainability at Brandeis University, and teaches at Harvard University during Summer Semesters. His research focuses on the social determinants of health and well-being, psychological and cultural barriers to poverty reduction, caste and social exclusion studies, agrarian reform, post-harvest technology transfer, social exclusion and emancipatory development, and higher education curriculum design and governance.

  • Alumnus Professor, Harvard Medical School

    Dr. Nir Eyal

    Nir Eyal is a member of the From Fauna Advisory Board. He is an Israeli public health expert and bioethicist who moved from Harvard to Rutgers in 2019 to become the inaugural Henry Rutgers Professor of Bioethics, with appointments at the School of Public Health and Philosophy. He currently serves as the Director of the Rutgers Center for Population-Level Bioethics.

    Prior to moving to Rutgers in 2019, Nir served as an Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was additionally appointed to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Global Health and Population and the Harvard Program in Ethics and Health. He also previously served as a Faculty Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University. Prior to joining Harvard, Nir was the Harold T. Shapiro Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioethics at the Center for Human Values of Princeton University and previously, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Clinical Bioethics of the National Institutes of Health. He holds a DPhil in Politics from Oxford University and an MA in Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

  • Film Director, Harvard University

    Michael Van Devere

    Michael Van Devere is a member of the From Fauna Advisory Board. He is an American, Harvard-based film director, producer, author, painter, and founder of independent film company, Fabular Films. He started his studies of the fine arts at Houston’s acclaimed High School of the Performing and Visual Arts. He would later study filmmaking at New York's School of Visual Arts, and English Literature at Harvard University. His specialties include producing, directing, screenwriting, film & digital editing, costume & set design, and graphic design.

    Michael has produced several short and feature-length films through Fabular Films including John Harvard, American Sleeper, Between Two Friends, and PERKINS 28. He is the author of works such as The Wheels and Saal, and his short stories have appeared in Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly and Fresh Men 2: New Voices in Gay Fiction.

  • Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts & Sciences

    Shuo Li Liu

    Shuo Li Liu is a former From Fauna Fellow and member of the From Fauna Advisory Board. He is a Chinese economist and Mathematician, responsible for spearheading various initiatives at From Fauna. These include, but are not limited to, starting multiple Cultivated Meat student organizations around the world, authoring various textbook chapters and publications, including a report published in Science Magazine, helping to establish From Fauna partnership strategy, including acceptance of From Fauna as a VIP Venture in Harvard Business School’s iLab, delivering a number of guest lectures, and has built key institutional and government partnerships for From Fauna including with the UN.

    Liu is a research fellow at the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University. He is also pursuing his PhD in Computational Mathematics at Stanford.

  • MA, Extension School Management

    Haroon Chaudhary

    Haroon Chaudhary is a member of the From Fauna Advisory Board. He is a Pakistani serial entrepreneur and businessman; founder of the web development company, Creanyx, where he has served as Director and COO. Haroon has also launched and executively led multiple other ventures, including his work as Director of Marketing & Sales at Medheave Healthcare Services. He was instrumental to the development of the original From Fauna Website and continues to provide support through his role as an advisor.

    Haroon received his BS in Computer Science at the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, based in Islamabad, Pakistan. He then went on to pursue his Master’s in Management at Harvard, receiving his Master of Liberal Arts in 2018.

  • MBA, Harvard Business School

    Taro Tan

    Taro Tan is a former From Fauna Fellow and legal associate, originally from Singapore. Prior to pursuing his law degree at Harvard, he received his BA in Law from Cambridge University, where he served as the President of the Cambridge University Law and Business Association, as well as the President of the Sir David Williams Society.

    Taro graduated with his LLM from Harvard Law School in 2018. He is also an editor of the Harvard Kennedy School Student Publication, the Singapore Policy Journal.

  • BS, Statistics & Energy and Environment

    Miela Foster

    Miela Foster is a former From Fauna Fellow and statistician, currently working as an Engineering Project Manager at Apple. She is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan and is the founder of Oak Systems, also serving as COO.

    Miela graduated from Harvard in 2021 with her Bachelor’s degree in Statistics; Secondary, in Energy and Environment. During her time at Harvard, she was actively engaged at the university, holding positions with the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations, Association of Black Harvard Women Alums, Harvard Student Agencies, the Harvard Kennedy School, as well as serving as an undergraduate research fellow with Professor John H Shaw’s group.

  • AB, Philosophy and Computer Science

    Matthew Mandel

    Matthew Mandel is a former From Fauna Fellow and agriculture specialist, who has held positions such as Operations Executive Analyst and Farm Development Associate at AeroFarms. He is a previous Lester Kissel Grant award recipient for his studies of philosophy at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University.

    Matthew graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in 2019 with his Bachelor’s in Philosophy; Secondary in Computer Science. His senior thesis on Kant’s ethical theory, entitled “The Normative Question: A Constitutive Account of What We Should Do and Why”, won the Carrier Prize in 2019. Matthew was also a member of Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa Society.

  • Bachelor’s, Political Science and Government

    Felipe Espitia

    Felipe Espitia is a From Fauna Fellow and economist, currently working at the hedge fund, Citadel, on Wall Street. He is originally from Colombia and has held positions at Goldman Sachs, Harvard’s Kennedy School, and the Phillips Brooks House.

    Felipe graduated Cum Laude from Harvard in 2019 with his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government; Secondary, in Anthropology and Archaeology. During his time at Harvard, he was actively engaged at the university, holding positions with Harvard Mentors for Urban Debate, Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, Harvard Democrats Policy and Publicity Committee, Colombian Student Association, and the Harvard Africa Business and Investment Club.

  • Former Student, Faculty of Arts & Sciences

    Kris Spiros

    Kris Spiros is the Founder, President, and Creative Director at From Fauna. During his time as a student at Harvard, he published multiple works for cultivated meat, including 90 Reasons to Consider Cultivated Meat, as well as works in peer-reviewed journals such as Science and Meat Science. The launch of From Fauna itself took place at Harvard in 2018, as well as the development of a number of critical From Fauna relationships, including many Harvard-based From Fauna Fellows and Advisors. Although Kris notes his enrollment as a student and researcher at Harvard was important, he ultimately spent more time devoted to cultivated meat and From Fauna than to his school work; this led to his dropping out to work at From Fauna full-time later in 2018.

    To learn more about the story of From Fauna and Kris, please read Our Story.

Throughout this section, you can find many notable Harvard-based From Fauna Advisors and Fellows, but we wanted to take this opportunity to also thank a few other special members of the Harvard community who have helped make a difference in From Fauna over the years. Such a list would be too long if it were to be exhaustive, but some of those individuals include: Joe Hedal (Harvard Law School | TLC), Emily Wu (HKS | From Fauna Textbook Author), Luke MacQueen (SEAS | From Fauna Textbook Author), Dr. Kit Parker (SEAS | From Fauna Textbook Author), Christophe Chantre (SEAS | From Fauna Textbook Author), Grant Gonzalez (SEAS | From Fauna Textbook Author), Michael Rosnach (SEAS | From Fauna Textbook Author), John Zimmerman (SEAS | From Fauna Textbook Author), Bob (Harvard Bus System), Jack (Harvard Bus System), Rick (Cronkhite Cafe), Ashley Davis (MA | Author), and many more.