BlueNalu, an innovative food company developing a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells, announced the appointment of Lauran Madden, Ph.D., to chief technology officer (CTO). As CTO, Dr. Madden will continue to drive BlueNalu in its next phase of growth, leading the company through research and development innovations in preparation for the initial market launch of its cell-cultured seafood products.

 Dr. Madden joined BlueNalu in 2018 as the first employee and has been instrumental in developing the technology strategy and leading the research and product development (R&D) team. In just three years, she has led the R&D team through significant technology milestones including pioneering a robust cell line development platform for finfish, optimizing the performance and decreasing the cost of cell culture media, removing animal components from the formulation, and successfully producing a variety of prototype seafood products that demonstrated sensory, functional and nutritional characteristics consistent with their conventional counterparts. With Dr. Madden’s leadership, BlueNalu has developed significant intellectual property designed to result in a scalable process with the least possible cost and greatest potential throughput.

 Dr. Madden most recently served as BlueNalu’s vp of research & product development and her career trajectory has mirrored the company’s fast-paced growth. In her new role, she will continue her oversight of core R&D, supply chain strategy and cost optimization, bioprocess design and development, culinary science, product development and intellectual property, with an initial focus on scaling up the production of quality, high-value bluefin tuna products. Her guidance will also inform key areas including the company’s expansion into future product lines, strategic collaborations, infrastructure, intellectual property, and further build out of the R&D team.

Prior to her work at BlueNalu Dr. Madden was a scientist at Organovo, incorporating primary cells and natural biomaterials into 3D systems. She spearheaded the development of a new 3D intestinal model and made key contributions to the optimization of primary cell expansion, formulation of bioinks, and validation of new assays. Her work led to the generation of new intellectual property, and authorship of peer-reviewed research.

 Dr. Madden earned her Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Washington. She is an avid trail runner, rock climber, and overall outdoor enthusiast who wants to see new technology protect the environment and provide consumers with safe seafood. A keen gardener and zestful cook, her inventive approach in the R&D lab is directly fueled by her personal passion for food.

BlueNalu continues to invest in strengthening its team and building out its new 40,000sq-ft food production facility to advance the organization into its next phase of scale-up growth and commercialization.