Tufts University Launches World’s First Undergraduate Degree in Cellular Agriculture

Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture (TUCCA), based in Massachusetts USA, has launched what it claims to be the world’s first undergraduate degree in cellular agriculture to allow students to secure the unique skills they need to work in the emerging industry of cellular agriculture.

TUCCA, considered among the leading academic institutions for cellular agriculture research, leverages world-renowned expertise in tissue engineering, synthetic biology, and food science to reinvent the production of animal products. 

This undergraduate degree aims to empower undergraduates in tissue engineering research to translate cellular agriculture research into food industry innovation. It is designed as an interdisciplinary minor and combines various disciplines to understand this complex, cutting-edge field.

A close up of a cell matrix
© Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture (TUCCA)

Available to students in the Tufts School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences, registered students will complete six classes, including two core courses, a research project course, and three elective courses. 

The electives cover topics such as Food, Nutrition, and Culture; Food Systems: From Farm to Table; and Bringing Products to Market, allowing students to tailor their education to their specific interests within cellular agriculture.

“Graduate students have had the opportunity to contribute to research and industry aims in cellular agriculture for a while now. But while we’ve offered classes to undergraduates and welcomed them into the lab, ours is now the first program that allows them to graduate with an actual degree in the field,” commented David Kaplan, Stern Family Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and executive director of TUCCA.

Motif Plant-Based Burger
©Motif FoodWorks

Boston, a food tech hub

Tufts University is located in the Greater Boston area, one of the premier biotechnology hubs in the USA. According to a recent study by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, food tech companies are increasingly choosing to locate in greater Boston

Another report, Boston Foodtech 2023, highlights Boston as a leader in this growing field, with 138 food tech companies including Ginkgo Bioworks; Ginkgo spinoff Ayana Bio; Motif Foodworks; 14 organizations, and more than 13,000 employees.

“Now we’ll have the chance to guide and collaborate with students who have an interest in cell ag from their earliest days at Tufts. Eventually, they’ll enter the field as professionals with a deep background and years of engagement in the subject,” Kaplan continued.

Also from this college, a global initiative by the Good Food Institute, the Tufts University Alt Protein Project, works to increase university awareness and engagement in protein diversification. 

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