Bioengineering undergraduate Bryan Wong and his team took third place in the “Berkeley Ventures, Berkeley Values” pitch competition, a recent contest by the Berkeley Startup Cluster focused on ideas to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Wong pitched Belli Meats, aiming to boost the popularity of faux meats in other cultures with their plant-based pork belly, a product that mimics the real thing with defined layers and distinct meat and fat sections.
Professor Amy Herr is the Executive Director of the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub (BBH), a new campus initiative that aims to launch world-changing startups to solve pressing technical problems. BBH and it’s associated Bakar Labs incubator will open this fall in a renovated Woo Hon Fai Hall, a space where campus scholars and startup founders will work at the convergence of life and physical sciences — including engineering and data sciences — to transform academic research into viable companies that improve the world.
The FDA has authorized the first single-use, PCR-quality, over the counter COVID-19 test kit, made by alumni startup Lucira!
Bolt Threads, founded by PhD alumnus David Breslauer to produce textiles through synthetic biology, has been named one of the 10 most innovative fashion and style companies of 2021 by Fast Company. They are recognized for their new Mylo product, a leather substitute made from fungal mycelium.
Non-biodegradeable, petroleum-derived, polyacrylic acid is used in everything from detergents to industrial fluids. Lygos, an alumni spinoff company that creates environmentally friendly chemicals through synthetic biology, has formed a partnership with NanoChem Solutions to produce an alternative: polyaspartate polymers. Together they will develop a process to make aspartic acid, the raw material for the polymers, from sugar via fermentation.
Check out an interview with PhD alumnus and Bolt Threads Co-Founder David Breslauer on the Business For Good podcast!
PROVEN, the world’s first microbial biofertilizer for cereal crops, has been named one of the 100 Best Inventions of 2020 by Time Magazine. Developed by PivotBio, a BioE spinout company founded by Karsten Temme, PhD 2010, the product replaces synthetic solutions with nitrogen-fixing microbes, which capture nitrogen from the air and convert it into a form that plants can use.
On Tuesday the first rapid, at-home COVID-19 test was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. The test, made by BioE-founded company Lucira, uses their loop mediated amplification reaction process, a molecular nucleic acid amplification technology, in a battery-powered standalone unit. Rather than detecting antibodies, their test is designed to detect whether an individual is shedding the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The company was developing this technology for an at-home influenza test before rapidly pivoting to address COVID-19. Lucira is led by Debkishore Mitra (PhD 2013), who founded the company with John Waldeisen (PhD 2012).
BioE spinout company Eko won the Best Hospital Diagnostics category at the 2020 UCSF Digital Health Awards digital stethoscope and ECG.