Leading cultivated meat, poultry and seafood company UPSIDE Foods (formerly Memphis Meats) announced the appointment of Robert (Bob) Kiss, Ph.D., as executive vice president (EVP) of technical operations. Dr. Kiss has three decades of industrial biotechnology experience and will oversee all of the company's 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.
Dr. Kiss was most recently the senior vice president of process and analytical development at Sutro Biopharma, a company developing novel human biotherapeutics, where he focused on industrializing the Sutro cell-free protein synthesis platform. Prior to Sutro, he spent 24 years at Genentech, where his final role was Senior Director and Distinguished Engineer leading cell culture development. While at Genentech, he was directly involved in the development and transfer of multiple cell culture and fermentation processes to Genentech/Roche and partner sites around the world.
He is the latest strategic hire to join the growing UPSIDE Foods team as the company approaches commercialization. In the past months, the team has announced the appointments of PepsiCo veteran Amy Chen as chief operating officer and Kyle Vogt, the president and co-founder of Cruise, to its board of directors. At over 100 employees, UPSIDE Foods is the largest cultivated meat company in the world.
Dr. Kiss, a licensed professional engineer, received his B.S. in chemical engineering from UC Davis and his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow in the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2019. He has also participated and held leadership roles in numerous industry and academia consortia within the biotechnology community and was a director of AIChE's Food, pharmaceutical and bioengineering division.