On January 1, 2017, Guigen Zhang, Professor and Associate Chair for Program Development and Outreach, Department of Bioengineering; and Executive Director, Institute of Biological Interfaces of Engineering, began his term as president of the Institute of Biological Engineering. Here, Zhang shares his vision on the possibility of a biological revolution and his belief in solving worldwide problems through convergence. IBE, a professional society, was started in 1995.
A new company emerging from Clemson University research aims to commercialize innovative genetic sensing technology, according to the university Research Foundation.
Tiger Bioanalytics, led by Guigen Zhang of Clemson University, is developing a cost-effective way to more accurately conduct gene sequencing. The goal is to sequence a whole genome using DNA from a single cell in a short period of time with high accuracy at a low cost. Tiger Bioanalytics’s technology promises a more accurate and affordable approach.
Guigen Zhang, a Clemson University professor in both bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering, has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Awarded through a program to support innovative global health research, the grant will help fund Zhang’s work to create low-cost diagnostic tools for doctors in developing countries.
“Our work is designed to develop highly sensitive, specific and direct-molecule-interfacing biosensors that are inexpensive to build, simple to use and rugged to deploy,” Zhang said.
Inexpensive, simple and rugged medical tools are important in remote, underdeveloped areas. That’s the reason Zhang’s research turned to development of tiny “biosensors” to replace more expensive and delicate mechanical and electrical devices.
Zhang, who also is deputy director of Clemson’s Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering, conducts research on the “electrical double layer,” a natural phenomenon that scientists have long recognized, but only recently begun to explore for its engineering potential. Zhang intends to take advantage of “nanostructures” — tiny objects roughly on the scale of atoms and molecules — to help doctors diagnose disease.
“We seek to exploit the fundamental science behind the capacitive effect of the electrical double layer as an analytical principle,” Zhang said. “This is very much on the frontiers of basic science and medical diagnostic engineering, but the result could be extremely beneficial for physicians in the field and the people in regions with limited resources.