• Lipman will join the leadership team of Impossible Foods later this month as Chief Science Officer
• CSO will oversee R&D and other functions, reporting to CEO and Founder Pat Brown
• Impossible Foods continues to build world-class team of scientists
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (May 8, 2017) — Impossible Foods announced today the hiring of National Center for Biotechnology Information Director David J. Lipman, M.D., as Chief Science Officer at the food technology startup.
Lipman, 63, has led the NCBI since its creation nearly three decades ago. NCBI, part of the National Institutes of Health, is used by more than 4 million people who download more than 100 Terabytes of data every day.
Under Lipman's leadership and open-access advocacy, the NCBI created and maintained a comprehensive suite of publicly accessible databases relevant to biotechnology and biomedicine, becoming one of the most trusted resources for doctors, patients, students and industry. Major NCBI databases include GenBank for DNA sequences and PubMed, one of the most heavily used sites in the world for the search and retrieval of biomedical information.
Lipman will be part of Impossible Foods' leadership team and oversee research and development, and information technology. He will take the newly created CSO position in late May and report directly to Impossible Foods CEO and Founder Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., a Stanford University biochemistry professor emeritus who has known Lipman since 1990.
"David has contributed more than any other scientist in the world to building the infrastructure and tools that made genome sequences an enabling resource for discoveries that have transformed biology and medicine," said Brown, who has collaborated with Lipman for more than two decades on open-access publishing projects within the scientific community. "He will make an immediate, positive contribution to Impossible Foods' leadership team -- and become an inspirational role model to our growing team of world-class scientists."
Lipman, one of the most highly cited scientists in biomedical research, led the NCBI as it built a world- class research program in influenza evolution and molecular evolution of the genome and proteome. He has worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Food and Drug Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture. In particular, he helped develop a system for applying whole genome sequencing for the surveillance and detection of foodborne pathogens, significantly boosting the speed of detecting outbreaks of foodborne disease.
"I had an incredible run at the NCBI, and my next challenge will be just as rewarding -- helping Impossible Foods accomplish its ambitious mission to make global food systems more sustainable," Lipman said. "I'll be working with creative, brilliant researchers and engineers, as well as my old friend Pat Brown. I'm personally passionate about this cause, and I look forward to joining the team."
Lipman is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, and a fellow of the International Society of Computational Biology, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American College of Medical Informatics. He received the Jim Gray eScience Award from Microsoft in 2013.
Lipman received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his M.D. in 1980 from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Before college, he worked in his family's butcher shop in Rochester, N.Y., starting at age seven as a floor sweeper and eventually tending chickens and sawing cuts of meat from the slaughterhouse.
Based in California's Silicon Valley, Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products directly from plants -- with a much smaller environmental footprint than those produced from animals.
Impossible Foods has about 150 employees and is hiring rapidly in all divisions, from manufacturing to R&D. The company's flagship product, the Impossible Burger, is the world's only burger that looks, handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows -- but is made entirely from plants, with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The Impossible Burger uses about 75% less water, generates about 87% fewer greenhouse gases and requires around 95% less land than conventional ground beef from cows. It's produced without hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavors.
Impossible Foods is building its first large-scale production facility in Oakland, Calif., which could enable the company to make at least 1 million pounds of Impossible Burger per month when fully ramped up -- enough to supply Impossible Burgers to 1,000 or more restaurants in the United States.
Based in Redwood City, Calif., Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products directly from plants -- with a much smaller environmental footprint than those produced from animals. The privately held company was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., formerly a biochemistry professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Stanford University. Investors include Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Open Philanthropy Project and Temasek.
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