Suman Bose, a postdoctoral researcher working as a JDRF Fellow in the lab of Drs. Robert Langer and Daniel Anderson, was one of the initial members of the team. Bose’s interest in microfluidics and diagnostics began in while he was studying for his PhD in mechanical engineering at MIT, where he developed two novel microfluidic platforms for isolating and analyzing diseased cells from blood.
The idea for IllumiRNA originated when teammate Vikash Chauhan, a postdoc in the laboratories of Professor Philip Sharp and Robert Langer introduced Bose to Salil Garg of the Sharp Lab. The three students began brainstorming ideas. “Salil was already interested in studying single cells,” says Bose. “We quickly came up with a microfluidic platform that could isolate, process and interrogate single cells.”
The three were joined by Anthony Chiu and Courtney JnBaptiste of the laboratory of Professor Philip Sharp, and Andrew Bader of the laboratories of Drs. Langer and Anderson.
The IllumiRNA team has developed a way to measure subtle changes in microRNA profile within a single cell, which they can use to distinguish a cancer cell from normal cells. Following their recent win at the Koch Institute, the IllumiRNA team hopes to prototype their platform and generate proof-of-principle data. “There is a lot of interest around commercialization of the technology and our team is definitely going to pursue that in the near future,” says Bose. “If we do start a company, rest assured, we won’t name it IllumiRNA!”
Abigail Ballou, Alexandra David, Shreya Iyer and Casey Nugent contributed to this story.
Send this to a friend