DR. DAVID WEITZ
Co-Founder, RainDance Technologies, Inc. /
Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics, Harvard University
“Federal funding is currently the largest source of basic research funding in the Nation. This funding is essential for the future economic competitiveness of our country, and pays enormous dividends in jump starting new companies that use the technologies developed with the support of this research to enhance our economy, provide jobs, and improve our standards of living. I am proud and honored to be part of this effort.”
Dr. Darren Link
Dr. David Weitz
TSC MEMBER INSTITUTION(S):
National Science Foundation
RAINDANCE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
SIMPLICITY. SPEED. SCIENCE.
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
RainDance Technologies manufactures instruments for genomic selection, a method to make current genetic sequencing machines much more efficient. This is important to basic biomedical research as well as to ushering in the new generation of personalized medicine.
RainDance Technologies uses microdroplet-based technology that can be extended across basic and applied research, translational research, and diagnostics. Each droplet is the functional equivalent of a test tube and can contain a single molecule, reaction, or cell. The droplets are processed on a disposable chip that has no moving parts or valves — a true breakthrough for accelerating the targeted sequencing of the human genome. The speed and simplicity of the company’s technology platform enable researchers to design experiments in ways that were previously unaffordable or unimaginable.
RainDance’s initial application focuses on the targeted resequencing of the human genome — one of the fastest-growing segments of the $1 billion DNA sequencing market. This application will enable the high-resolution analysis of genetic variation between individuals and populations at a level unmatched by current methodology.
UNIVERSITY-BASED RESEARCH CONNECTION:
RainDance Technologies was founded by Dr. David Weitz of Harvard University along with two collaborators from Europe and a postdoctoral scientist, Darren Link, from Dr. Weitz’s lab. The droplet-based microfluidics technology developed by Dr. Weitz’s Harvard-based research group is the essential technology behind RainDance’s current product line, as well as those in development. In addition to RainDance, four other companies have spun-out of Dr. Weitz’s lab. Each is based on droplet-based microfluidics technology, and all employ individuals who have worked under Dr. Weitz. “All of the companies employ students or post docs who have worked with me, as well as many other people, and this is one thing I am most proud of,” Weitz commented.
ROLE OF FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDING:
Development of droplet-based microfluidics was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.
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