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University of Rochester spin-off company Adarza BioSystems raises $6.8 million

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

University of Rochester spin-off company Adarza BioSystems has some big news this quarter – $6.8 million dollars big. Benjamin Miller, Professor of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Biomedical Engineering, helped found Adarza in 2008. BME graduate students Joe Bucukovski, Mark Lifson, and Rashmi Sriram have also been working with Adarza on research and development.

Making PhDs More Employable: New Education Initiative Paves the Way

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Preparing graduate students and post-doctoral trainees for jobs outside of academia is the goal of a new career-training program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD), supported by $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health.

The award to Principal Investigator Stephen Dewhurst Ph.D.,Vice Dean for Research at the SMD, comes at a time when fewer opportunities for tenure-track faculty positions exist, and yet graduate students in biomedical sciences don’t always have the awareness, robust training, connections, or transferable skills needed to identify and succeed in a range of other careers.

Read More: Making PhDs More Employable: New Education Initiative Paves the Way

Jim Baker & Ben Miller Work to Develop Small Optical Biosensors to Detect Individual Viruses or Virus Particles.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Photo of Jim Baker

Jim Baker

taken from the University of Rochester's Research Connection, August 8th Issue

Jim Baker, a Ph.D. student in Physics, is working with Benjamin Miller Ph.D., Professor of Dermatology and of Biochemistry & Biophysics, to develop optical biosensors small enough and sensitive enough to detect individual viruses or virus particles that are only one ten-millionth of a meter in size.

If somebody is treated for a virus, we currently have no way to tell if somebody is completely cured of that virus, Baker explained. You need a diagnostic sensitive enough to detect a single virus particle, which doesn't exist.

Baker's project is to develop just such a diagnostic. He is working on two-dimensional photonic crystal (2DPhC) sensors -- micron-scale devices that are fabricated in silicon and are so small you could fit 74,000 of them on a dime, Miller noted.

When we pass light through one of these sensors, it traps light of a particular color, Baker said. When a virus binds to our sensor, it changes the color of light that can be trapped, and that allows us to detect if a virus is present.

Not surprisingly, these sensors are extraordinarily difficult to design, Baker noted, requiring computer simulations showing what color of light is trapped by various geometric patterns, and how the binding of a virus changes that. This generates a large volume of results -- all related, yet all different and needing to be analyzed together, Baker said. It was a significant challenge at first to analyze all of these different data sets separately, while trying to keep them all in mind so I could draw global conclusions.