Launch of the Bezos Centre for Sustainable Protein 

Imperial College London is pleased to announce the launch of the Bezos Centre for Sustainable Protein with $30 million funding over 5 years. 

The new Centre at Imperial will address the critical global issue of our current unsustainable and environmentally damaging food ecosystems. Led by Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro, from the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial, it will develop innovative and evidence-based solutions through the design, delivery and commercialisation of alternative food products which are economically and environmentally friendly, nutritious, affordable and tasty. 

The funding for the Centre is provided by the Bezos Earth Fund, as part of their $1 billion commitment to food transformation. As well as the hub at Imperial, it will include other institutions and industry partners in order to develop and commercialise new ‘alternative protein’ products that will give consumers serious choice when replacing meat. 

The launch of the Bezos Centre for Sustainable Protein at Imperial follows the announcement of a sister centre last month at North Carolina State University 

For more information on the Centre at Imperial please contact Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro 

Opportunities at the Bezos Centre for Sustainable Protein

We will soon be advertising vacancies for managerial and administrative roles as well as for academics and researchers. We are seeking experienced staff to lead and deliver operational activities of the Bezos Centre for Sustainable Protein. If you are interested in joining a world-leading institution and passionate about enabling research with real-world impact towards the transformation and sustainability of our global food ecosystem, please register here to receive a notification when the positions open


Imperial College London and the Bezos Earth Fund hosted a special event on the future of food as part of London Climate Action Week. Our distinguished speakers discussed innovative solutions to deliver healthy and nutritious food to 10 billion people without harming the planet. 

Scroll down to watch the live stream or find out more about our speakers. 

Sustainable Protein: Panel discussion

Sustainable Protein: Panel discussion and Reception

Submit a question to our panel



Professor Mary Ryan, Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) and Armourers and Brasiers' Chair for Materials Science, Imperial College London

Mary Ryan, Vice Provost for Research and Enterprise at Imperial College London, is a distinguished leader in materials science. Recognised with a CBE and Fellowships in prestigious academies. She has published over 200 papers and graduated over 50 PhD students in the area of electrochemical materials science. Ryan's career exemplifies excellence in interdisciplinary research. Her strategic vision shapes Imperial's research and impact agenda, supporting its mission to address complex global challenges through convergence science approaches.

Sir Andrew Steer, President and CEO, Bezos Earth Fund

Sir Andrew Steer is the President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, a $10 billion fund to address the pressing issues of climate change and nature in this decisive decade. 

Sir Andrew joined the Bezos Earth Fund from the World Resources Institute, where he served as President & CEO for over eight years. Prior to this, Andrew served as the World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change from 2010 - 2012. From 2007 to 2010, he served as Director General at the UK Department of International Development. This followed 10 years in East Asia, where he was Head of the World Bank in Vietnam and Indonesia. 

Sir Andrew is a Global Agenda Trustee for the World Economic Forum, a Board chair of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), a member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), and member of the leadership council of Concordia.  

Andrew was educated at St Andrews University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Cambridge University. He has a PhD in international economics and finance. 

He is married to Dr Liesbet Steer and is the father of Charlotte and Benjamin. 

Dr Andy Jarvis, Director of Future of Food, Bezos Earth Fund

Andy Jarvis has worked for over 20 years in research for development to support the delivery of food security and environmental sustainability in the food system. His research has focused on data-driven policy analysis on a variety of topics from agrobiodiversity conservation to climate impacts and adaptation. Andy joined the Bezos Earth Fund from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, a CGIAR center, as the Associate Director General for Research Strategy and Innovation where he oversaw research that spans from crop breeding and genetics to landscape management, climate adaptation and mitigation through to dietary shifts and consumer behavior. 

Andy holds a PhD in Geography from King’s College London, and is located in Cali, Colombia.

Dr Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro, Director, Bezos Centre for Sustainable Protein and Reader in Synthetic Biology, Imperial College London

Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro is a Reader at Imperial College London, where he leads a research group working on Engineering Biology and sustainability. His research focuses on the use of microorganisms to convert renewable feedstocks into valuable products (such as food ingredients). He has published over 150 articles, most on topics related to microbial bioproduction (precision, biomass and traditional fermentation).

Rodrigo obtained his PhD at the University of Salamanca (Spain). Before joining Imperial, he carried out his postdoctoral research at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE, France). He has been a visiting researcher at Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) and AIST (Japan).

Henry Dimbleby, National Food Strategy Author and Co-Founder of Leon

Henry Dimbleby is the author of Ravenous: How to get ourselves and our planet into shape. Published in March 2023, this analysis of the food system – how it is malfunctioning it, and what to do about it – builds on the work he did in the independent National Food Strategy, described by Prue Leith “the best government document that’s ever come out”.

Dimbleby is the co-founder and former CEO of Leon restaurants. He also co-founded the Sustainable Restaurant Association and the charity Chefs in Schools, which brings restaurant chefs into school kitchens. In 2013, he co-authored The School Food Plan, a blueprint for government setting out actions to transform what children eat in schools and how they learn about food. It resulted in the introduction of free school meals for all children up to the age of eight, and cooking lessons being made obligatory for all children up to 14.

From 2018 to 2023, Dimbleby was the lead non-executive board member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, serving under Michael Gove, Theresa Villiers, George Eustice, Ranil Jayawardene and Therese Coffey. He has also advised the Labour party on how to improve the sustainability and security of the food system.

Henry previously worked as a Strategy Consultant at Bain & Company, where he worked with businesses on strategy, performance improvement and organisational design. Before that he worked as a journalist at The Daily Telegraph and a chef at the Michelin-starred Four Seasons Inn on the Park.


Alan Dangour, Director of Climate and Health, Wellcome Trust

In January 2022, Alan joined the Wellcome Trust to lead its ambitious new strategy that aims to put health at the heart of global climate change action. 

Alan was previously based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine for twenty years, where he was a Professor of Food and Nutrition for Global Health and Director of the Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health. Alan led an interdisciplinary team working on the interconnections between environmental change, food systems and health. 

Familiar working in national and international fora, Alan was an Expert Advisor to the Environmental Audit Committee of the UK Parliament and a Senior Research Fellow at the UK Department for International Development. 

Stephanie Jochems, Managing Director, Marlow Ingredients, Quorn Foods

Stephanie is the Managing Director of Marlow Ingredients, and joined Marlow Foods in July 2020 as Group Strategy Director. She has 15 years’ experience in corporate strategy, strategy implementation, innovation and leading businesses in emerging markets. Before joining Marlow Foods, Stephanie worked with the Boston Consulting Group and later at Friesland Campina, based in Asia. She studied Financial Economics and International Law at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and holds an MBA from INSEAD. 

In 2023, Stephanie was given the remit to build a new business unit based on our fantastic fungi fermentation-based ingredients. The mission is to accelerate the global transition to delicious, healthy and sustainable foods by turning our unique ingredients into solutions for other companies and industries. 

Dame Julia King, The Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Chair of the Adaptation Committee of the Climate Change Committee

A career in academia and industry - Cambridge University and Rolls-Royce plc - led to ten years as Vice-Chancellor of Aston University in Birmingham, before joining the House of Lords as a Crossbench Peer in 2016. She currently chairs the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee.

Interests include climate change, innovation and technology. Current and recent appointments: Vice Chair of the UK Climate Change Committee 2008 – 2021; Chair CCC Adaptation Committee; Jet Zero Council climate advisor; Senior Advisor to Holtec UK; Chair BGF Cleantech Advisory Group; Chair: The Carbon Trust, Frontier IP; NED: Ørsted, Ceres Power. President of The Welding Institute 2024-2026. Past appointments include: Chair of the King Review on decarbonising transport; Chair of the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials; NED Innovate UK; NED UK Green Investment Bank; UK Low Carbon Business Ambassador; NED Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult; Sector Champion for the Offshore Wind Sector Deal.


London Climate Action Week 2024 

This event is part of London Climate Action Week 2024. #LCAW2024 

Find out more about the other events Imperial is running during London Climate Action Week.