Diagnosing Ourselves: Take Two Assays and Don’t Call Me in the Morning

APRIL 4, 2013

Dr. Andrew Ellington

Professor of Biochemistry
The University of Texas at Austin

What is the talk about?

Our ability to monitor and maintain our health still largely relies on interactions with the medical community. This dependence is especially unfortunate in resource-poor settings, where the medical community is already stretched thin.  What advances are being made to allow people without medical training to readily detect things like viruses? Can such biotechnology help us understand our own unique physiology?  Dr. Andy Ellington will discuss exciting advances in low-cost, personalized diagnostics and the promise of creating virtual clinical trials through social networks to improve healthcare on a global scale.

About our presenter

Dr. Andrew Ellington

Dr. Andrew Ellington

Dr. Andrew Ellington’s research focuses on using evolutionary techniques to engineer biopolymers and cells. Researchers in his lab select binding species (aptamers) and ribozymes from random sequence populations. They then attempt to apply the selected species to solve real-world problems. For example, his lab members are exploring how aptamers can be used to block viral replication.  His team has also developed methods for evolving proteins with novel functions, and they are attempting to use the evolved proteins in medical or biotechnological applications.