About Us

Our Story

CytoNest, Inc. is a start-up company founded in 2020 for the commercialization of adherent cell expansion technologies

Our Mission

At CytoNest, Inc., we aspire to transform the adherent cell culture technologies for tissue engineering, cultured meat, cultured seafood, and regenerative medicine applications. We offer nanofiber-based true 3D scaffolds for the efficient growth of adherent cells at high densities. Our scaffolds are made of food-compatible biomaterials. We strive to preserve the cell-surface interactions and cell-specific biochemical and structural environment while blending innovative 3D scaffolding approaches to address the scale-up manufacturing needs. 

Our Team

Nataraja S. Yadavalli, Ph.D.

Cofounder, CEO

Nataraja Yadavalli is an experienced fiber and polymer scientist with a background in microsystems engineering. He has developed key patent-pending technologies to address the challenges in scalable 3D cell culture applications. He is leading the technical and commercial efforts, market research, and product development at CytoNest, Inc.

Sergiy Minko, Ph.D.

Cofounder, CSO

Georgia Power Professor of Fiber and Polymer Science, The University of Georgia

His research interest extends over the areas of functional materials and biomaterials, including thin polymer films, polymer brushes, polymer hydrogels, porous membranes, functional coatings, nanofibers, and colloidal systems. 

Blake Hawley, DVM, MBA

Independent Board Director 

An experienced CEO with demonstrated skills in business planning, consumer products, sales, veterinary medicine, market research, and drug delivery development, serving the veterinary, animal, and human health industries. He currently serves as CEO of Motega Health and Strategic advisor to SBH nutrition science. He holds an MBA from The University of Kansas. 

Advisory Board

Courtney Stanton, MBA

Business Advisor

Received an MBA from Harvard Business School and is currently the CEO of Bioseutica, Americas and Global Head of Strategy and Sales. She previously developed Smithfield Biosciences, the US’ largest heparin (blood thinner) producer and leader in porcine-based biomedical products. She also partnered with BioCircuit Technologies to launch Nerve Tape, a porcine based medical device enabling suture-less nerve repair for traumatic injuries. 

Eugene D. Boland, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

He has over 25 years in laboratory research, with a focus on regenerative technologies.  His expertise extends from bioinert metals and ceramics to bioactive polymers and proteins as well as extensive cell culture and bioreactor development.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University after 6 years in cardiovascular medical device field.


He has led teams developing synthetic extracellular matrices for vascular tissue engineering and muscular tissue development (skeletal and cardiac) for wound healing and congenital defects.  Overall project goals included muscle bulking and functional vasculature to support thick tissue or limb salvage.  In addition to scaffold development, Dr. Boland led a collaborative team managing a 3D Bioprinter (Techshot BioFabrication Facility) aboard the International Space Station.  Again, the goal was to optimize thick tissue development using cells sourced from both commercial and in-house developed iPSCs. Due to high transport costs and limited space, customized media and bioinks were developed to grow tissues in a serum-free environment.  The culmination of protein scaffolds, serum free media for iPSC expansion and differentiation, and electro-mechanical stimulating bioreactor development led to inquiries about cultured animal tissues to be used as a meat substitute.  Dr. Boland has been involved in cellular agriculture for the past 4 years.

Kevin Schultz, DVM, Ph.D.


He has a wealth of expertise in entrepreneurial development, R&D, and operations. Dr. Schultz established a consulting business for Human and Animal Health R&D and is a Venture Fellow with the Georgia Research Alliance. His other prominent roles in the past include executive vice president of global R&D for Merial Animal Health (BI animal health), head of R&D at Tyratech, Inc where he was responsible for developing and registering new bioactive products, and head of R&D for Kindred Biosciences, a new Biotechnical business that develops products for Animal Health.