BERKELEY, CALIF. — Robert Kiss has been named executive vice president of technical operations at cultivated meat, poultry and seafood company Upside Foods (formerly Memphis Meats).
Mr. Kiss brings three decades of industrial biotechnology experience to Upside Foods. He most recently was senior vice president of process and analytical development at Sutro Biopharma, a company developing novel human biotherapeutics, where he focused on industrializing a cell-free protein synthesis platform. Before that he was senior director and distinguished engineer leading cell culture development at biotechnology company Genentech, where he was involved in the development of multiple cell culture and fermentation processes.
In his new role, Mr. Kiss will oversee all of Upside Foods’ technical operations and processes for producing cultivated meat at research through commercial scales. His onboarding comes as the company prepares to open its inaugural production facility and innovation center to support the commercialization of its first product, Upside Chicken.
“We've developed the most advanced scale-up technology in the cultivated meat industry, and Bob will help us take that to the next level,” said Uma Valeti, chief executive officer and founder of Upside Foods. “Bob shares our commitment to making the world's most delicious cultivated meat. His experience working with both large-scale mammalian cell cultures and microbial fermentation processes to create lifesaving biopharmaceuticals will be invaluable in supporting our mission to bring future-friendly meat to the world.”
Mr. Kiss is the latest hire to join Upside Foods as the company approaches commercialization. Other recent additions include PepsiCo, Inc. veteran Amy Chen, who was named chief operating officer, and Kyle Vogt, the president and co-founder of Cruise, who was appointed to the company’s board of directors.