Events Emerging Leaders Series #5: Food Innovations and Health Aspects

JCU Events

Thu, 22 Sep 2022

Emerging Leaders Series #5: Food Innovations and Health Aspects

When: 22 September 2022, 4:30pm to 6pm
Location:Online Webinar

Food innovations are urgently needed to foster healthy diets for the growing and ageing world population. In Singapore, urban aquaculture seafood, plant-based and cultivated meats (e.g., cell-based fish) will play a critical role in sustainably tripling domestic food production by 2030 as highlighted in the Singapore Food Story. The Good Food Institute and start-ups such as Umami Meats are major drivers of this food revolution. Health benefits include reduced risk of foodborne illness and possibly food allergies, which are under investigation as part of food safety assessments. Academics at JCU’s Tropical Futures Institute are pioneers in this field. Join us for a dive into the world of future foods!

Webinar time

4:30 pm GMT+8 (Singapore)


Professor Andreas Lopata

Professor Andreas Lopata

Personal Chair in Biochemistry, James Cook University, Australia
Professorial Research Fellow - Human Health & Ageing, Tropical Futures Institute, James Cook University, Singapore

Andreas leads the Molecular Allergy Research Laboratory in the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, and the Healthy Ageing pillar in the Tropical Futures Institute in Singapore. He is considered a world leader on seafood allergy and has more than 30 years’ experience in the molecular immunological analysis of food allergens for better diagnostics and development of therapeutics, specific to the Asia-Pacific region.

Speaker Profile


Dr Wasamon Nutakul

SciTech Specialist, The Good Food Institute Asia Pacific, Singapore

GFI APAC, Asia’s leading non-profit alternative protein think tank, is reimagining proteins by modernising meat, egg and dairy productions through open-access food science R&D, corporate engagement, and public policy. Wasamon is a SciTech Specialist from GFI APAC who focuses her work on plant-based meat value chain. She works on identifying its technical gaps and collaborating with key stakeholders in APAC to address them.

Wasamon has 8 years of experience in the field of Food Science and Technology, she spent 5 years in the Food industry through which she gained expertise in food proteins and their applications. Before joining GFI, she spent 2 years in academic/industry interface developing new talents for the food industry in Thailand. Wasamon holds a PhD in Food Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA) and is now putting her years of experience towards fixing the world’s most pressing crisis – an unsustainable global food system.

Mihir Pershad_s

Mr Mihir Pershad
Founder, CEO, Umami Meats, Singapore

Umami Meats is a pioneering Singapore-based start-up cultivating the Future of Sustainable “not caught” Seafood. As CEO and Founder, Mihir is building a team developing delicious, affordable, sustainable cultivated (cell-based) fish that is better for our health, our oceans, and our future. He believes that nature is our biggest teacher and is dedicated to preserve its delicate balance by thinking differently, honouring tradition, and protecting the taste of the sea. Mihir has an academic background in protein biochemistry and has spent his career working to commercialize deep tech innovations to address humanity's grand challenges. Most recently, he was a Venture Partner at Early Charm Ventures, where he led the commercialization of university spinouts at the intersection of biotechnology and aquaculture. Mihir is also author of Cultivated Abundance, a book that outlines a framework for entrepreneurs to leverage transformative technologies to build an inspiring, abundant future for humanity.

Dr Thimo Ruethers

Dr Thimo Ruethers
Research Fellow - Human Health & Ageing, Tropical Futures Institute, James Cook University, Singapore
Adjunct Lecturer, James Cook University, Australia

At JCU’s non-profit Tropical Futures Institute, Thimo’s primary research activities focus on molecular interactions between food and humans with an emphasis on the immune system. Aquaculture products and novel foods are of particular interest, emerging from ambitious Singapore Food Story goals. Thimo is a researcher and science communicator, who has been tackling food allergies and promoting food safety worldwide while based in Australia, Austria, Germany, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. He now focuses on Singapore’s healthy, safe and sustainable food future, utilising over a decade of international interdisciplinary research experience. Thimo holds a PhD in Medical and Molecular Sciences Food Science from JCU and both BSc and MSc from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Germany). He seeks to help overcome challenges in securing humanity's (alternative) food protein needs under careful consideration of food safety, allergic diseases and planetary health.

Register now

Photos and recording will be taken during the event for news and various publicity purposes