CBE/ENGR 225 Faculty Seminar: David Hirschberg, Ph.D., Affiliate Prof. and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Urban Water, Professor at Institute of Global Engagement in the Dept. of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Tacoma

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 @4pm in Room #ESB 2001

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ESB, Room 2001

4 - 5pm

*Light refreshments will be provided*

David Hirschberg, Ph.D.
Affiliate Professor and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Urban Waters
Professor, Institute of Global Engagement, Dept. of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
University of Washington, Tacoma

Host: Sumita Pennathur, Ph.D.

RAIN in Tacoma: A Blue Collar Biotechnology Approach to Innovation, Education, Technology Evaluation for Area Hospitals, Industry and the Community.

 Technology advancement has made the monitoring of many types of environments feasible and economical.  

Multiple kinds of data can be collected including temperature, location, atmospheric pressure, weather, photos, as well as direct measurement of toxins, nucleic acids, proteins and other physiological markers.  In addition samples can be simultaneously collected and analyzed from thousands of locations and data assembled into maps enabling a real time situational awareness.  As these assays and measurements continue to be refined, constant biomarker surveillance and diagnostics are being done on both the ecosystem and the individual level. Applied research in biosensors detecting gene protein and changes in physical and metabolic systems will not only arm future students with new tools to look at existing research projects but it will also prepare them for medical technologies which use the same sensors.

The Readiness Acceleration and Innovation Network (RAIN) is being established to facilitate the development of small biotech companies, train students and encourage job growth. We have involved small companies, investors, the US Army (RDECOM and MEDCOM), regional hospitals and the local community.  The community benefits directly from these efforts through the creation of skilled jobs, which contributes to a cycle where growing businesses continue to hire skilled workers to fill in-demand biotech positions.  Outside collaborators gain accesses to local environments and patient populations as well as a local test bed to evaluate their technologies.  

This presentation will be of interest to investigators and students interested in developing research trials that test biosensors, or any integrated device in an environmental or clinical trial with the goal of commercialization of their product.

David L Hirschberg is an Affiliate Professor and Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Urban Waters. He also has appointments in the Institute for Global Engagement and in the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, at the University of Washington, Tacoma (UWT). He is a Science and Technology advisor supporting the Joint Program Executive Office and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC, US Army RDECOM).  At ECBC, Dr. Hirschberg has been working with ECBC leadership to develop long term research programs in biosecurity that leverage biotechnologies being developed in the commercial sector. At UWT, Dr. Hirschberg trains students in critical thinking and to foster careers in biotechnology. He founded and directs the Readiness Acceleration and Innovation Network (RAIN), a entity focused on exposing students, colleagues and community members to use molecular diagnostic tools for biomarker discovery in environmental surveillance and medical diagnostics. Dr. Hirschberg’s current focus is on developing accessible technologies that can rapidly detect microbial threats, and on assessing and optimizing devices for commercial, community and military applications.

Dr. Hirschberg earned his BS degree in Cell Biology from Washington State University, and MS and PhD degrees in Neuroimmunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel. He completed his postdoctoral training at Stanford University and is the founder and board member of several biotechnology companies focused on biomarker discovery and measurement. He was part of a collaborative multidisciplinary research group in industry for several years before returning to Stanford to form the Human Immune Monitoring Center, a core facility dedicated to facilitating collaborations in clinical research and development between academia and industry. He was invited to develop a similar core at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University where, as Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology, he developed and adapted technology for the rapid identification and characterization of pathogens.