May 10, 2023 – Future Fields, a pioneering biotechnology company that has built the world’s first synthetic biology system to use fruit flies for recombinant protein production, today announced that John Cumbers, Ph.D, the founder and CEO of SynBioBeta, has joined the company’s advisory board. Cumbers brings extensive experience in scientific innovation and is a leading advocate for the expanded use of synthetic biology to build a better, more sustainable planet.
“We are pleased to welcome John Cumbers to the Future Fields advisory board at such an exciting time of growth for our company. John is a highly respected, entrepreneurial advocate for the bioeconomy and a passionate thought leader for innovation that aligns with our pioneering fruit fly platform,” said Matt Anderson-Baron, Co-Founder and CEO of Future Fields. “John’s strategic perspective, guidance and in-depth knowledge of synthetic biology will be invaluable as we leverage the power of our sustainable biomanufacturing platform, the EntoEngine, to fuel a new wave of discoveries and protein-based drug production.”
As the head of SynBioBeta, the premier innovation network for biological engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors, Cumbers has established himself as a leading authority on synthetic biology. He conducts the annual SynBioBeta Conference, hosts the SynBioBeta Podcast, advises a variety of startups on innovation and strategies, and serves as an operating partner and investor at the tech investment fund Data Collective. Cumbers also writes for Forbes as a senior contributor. In addition, he has written a book, entitled What’s Your Bio Strategy, and he worked as a bioengineer at NASA earlier in his career. He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry from Brown University.
"Future Fields is a shining example of what is incredible about the innovation driving the bioeconomy. Using fruit flies as ‘factories’ for recombinant proteins is an ingenious approach to bringing more scalable and sustainable solutions to biomanufacturing," said Cumbers. "I am honored to support the incredible Future Fields team and contribute to their mission to change how we do science for humanity and the planet.”
Cumbers joins two other Future Fields advisors: Michael Houghton, Ph.D., and Andrew Simmonds, Ph.D. Dr. Houghton was the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Virology from 2010-2018 and is currently the Li Ka Shing Professor of Virology at the University of Alberta where he is also the Director of the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute. He was jointly named the 2020 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine along with Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice for their work in the discovery of the hepatitis C (HCV) virus. Dr. Simmonds is Department Chair and professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry – Cell Biology Department at the University of Alberta. He is a distinguished scientist with a prolific track record of published research papers.
Future Fields is advancing a new biomanufacturing paradigm by harnessing fruit flies. With its biomanufacturing platform, EntoEngine™, the company is focused on making significant strides to increase the supply of recombinant proteins for biological drugs, shrink the cost of research and development, and diminish the carbon footprint of bioreactors, which are typically big steel tanks. Future Fields aims to help the biopharmaceutical industry reduce the carbon impact caused by traditional bioreactors and enhance sustainability through synthetic biology.
In February 2023, Future Fields announced a new suite of human recombinant protein products created for biomedical research and biopharma by its patented EntoEngine™ platform. These proteins include: a protein for wound healing and bone graft additive, a hormone responsible for breast milk development, a hormone that facilitates muscle development and maintenance, an important reproductive biology hormone, and a key protein used in stem cell research with applications in traumatic spinal cord injury, stroke, and severe burns. Of these, the last protein is developed and available for testing.
Future Fields is a fly biotechnology company based in Edmonton, Canada. Founded in 2018, Future Fields is on a mission to change how we do science for humanity and the planet. Our biomanufacturing platform, the EntoEngine™, is the first synthetic biology system in the world to use fruit flies for recombinant protein production. Powered by people and fly by design, we’re equipping industries with the biomolecular tools they need to sustainably, ethically, and economically conduct great science. As of 2023, our lab has been Green-certified by My Green Lab. Future Fields is a proud business member of 1% for the Planet and the United Nations Global Compact initiative. Learn more about how we’re transforming science at futurefields.io.