We are proud to introduce Dr. Julia Robert, Harmony’s upstream and downstream bioprocess engineering expert working at our new LabCentral laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harmony won LabCentral Ignite’s 2021 Golden Ticket, a program designed to bring up underrepresented founders in the biotech industry whose startups have a high impact on improving human health. As a reward, Harmony is granted access to LabCentral’s world-class lab facilities, equipment, and biotech network.
At the lab, Julia improves our protein producing microbes and extracts and purifies the proteins so they can be used to form the basis of the first human breast milk protein-based infant formula. She also supervises our Hong Kong laboratory and trains our incoming bioprocess engineering scientists. As the expert in all stages of our human breast milk protein production, we sat down with Julia to learn more about her work at LabCentral and how our science is progressing.
Tell us about LabCentral. What do we plan to do there?
LabCentral has one of the nation’s best laboratories and ecosystems for biotechnology innovation. At LabCentral, we are working to get a new version of our producing strain for a few of the major human breast milk proteins of our pipeline. Also, we are performing studies to better understand what downstream process steps are needed in order to extract and purify these proteins to ensure the best possible quality so they can be included in our infant formula.
What are the benefits of LabCentral and why is it good to be part of their Ignite Golden Ticket Program?
As the winner of the Ignite Golden Ticket, Harmony’s top-notch researchers and scientists are granted access to LabCentral’s world class laboratory facilities and equipment, extensive network of biotech experts, and strong biotech ecosystem. Access to such advanced equipment and resources has allowed the scientific team and I to accelerate our protein production significantly and perform studies and experiments we otherwise would not be able to.
Can you give us a quick update on how our science is progressing?
Right now, we are developing our 3rd generation of protein producing strain while simultaneously testing some different powder formulations to achieve a good smell and palatable taste, and including on human-based and sustainably produced components to culminate in an infant formula that will give a growing baby the nutrition it needs at each stage of life.