2014 XTNC Speaker Series: David Walt, PhD

2:45 pm on Monday, June 23, 2014
8 St. Mary's St. (PHO 339)
Single Molecule Arrays for Fundamental Studies and Ultrasensitive Diagnostics Presently available methods for detecting biomolecules are primarily based on measuring “analog” signals — the higher or lower the concentration, the higher or lower the signal, respectively. Digital measurements, based on counting single molecules, enable extremely high sensitivity because low background signals can be readily distinguished from the high digital signals making for a much lower limit of detection. We have developed a method that allows us to measure the concentration of proteins more than a thousand times lower than ELISAs. The method also allows us to observe the behavior of individual enzyme molecules and nanoparticles. Both fundamental studies as well as the application to new diagnostic tests in the fields of oncology and infectious disease will be described. A discussion of how the technology is being commercialized will also be presented. David R. Walt is University Professor, Robinson Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Genetics, and Professor of Oral Medicine at Tufts University, is the Founding Director of Tufts Institute for Innovation, and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. Dr. Walt is also Advisory Professor at Hunan University at the Institute for Chemical Biology and Nanomedicine (ICBN). Dr. Walt is the Founding Scientist of both Illumina, Inc. and Quanterix Corporation and is a Director and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Boards of both companies. He has received numerous national and international awards and honors for his fundamental and applied work in the field of optical sensors, microwell arrays, and single molecule detection. Dr. Walt is a co-chair of the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from Stony Brook University.