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Chris Geddes and IoF named an innovator of the year

September 9, 2015 10:49 AM

Professor Chris D. Geddes, Ph.D., FRSC, has been named a Daily Record  Innovator of the Year 2015.

Dr. Geddes, Director of UMBC's Institute of Fluorescence and a faculty member from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has just received the honor for his lab's recent work developing the Lyse-it™ technology, a technology that enables the rapid lysing of cells to collect their genetic material. This is the 4th time Professor Geddes has been honored by the Daily Record in the last 8 years for his lab's pioneering innovations.

Sample preparation (lysis) is key to the development of many clinical Point-of-Care (POC) and laboratory tests involving cellular genetic analysis. For example, sample preparation is a significant bottleneck in PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)-based approaches, the gold standard in both pathogen and clinical (hospital setting) detection today, with available technologies taking many cumbersome, lengthy and costly steps. In addition, commercially available lysis kits today require different kits and protocols for different media (e.g. broth, urine, blood).

To address this bottleneck of speed, cost and complexity, and to address the fact that many laboratories employ multiple kits for routine testing, Dr. Geddes’ lab has developed Lyse-it™, a means to lyse virtually any cell, spore or virus rapidly (typically <20 seconds) in a single-step on a single platform, thereby enabling the genetic material (e.g. DNA) to be collected for downstream analysis on any platform.

Focused microwaves in small disposable sample chambers readily allow the Lyse-it™ user to lyse cellular samples with near-100% efficiency, within 20 seconds on a single platform at a cost less than other technologies available today. Importantly, this lysing approach is generic to a whole range of cells and viruses. This is because it is a single platform (one size fits all), unlike traditional lysing buffer approaches that all use multiple kits for different media.

Key members of Dr Geddes’ lab that participated in this innovation include: Johan Melendez (graduate student), Tonya Santaus (graduate student); Greg Brinsley (undergraduate); Jacob Roberts (undergraduate); Maraki Negesse (undergraduate) and Daniel Kiang (undergraduate).

The Lyse-it™ technology invented by Dr. Geddes is the technology behind his new company of the same name. Lyse-it™ is Dr. Geddes’ third company to date. Dr. Geddes currently has one patent issued and two patents pending on the Lyse-it™ technology.

Dr Geddes has recently received $100,000 from Maryland’s TEDCO and $20,000 from UMBC’s catalyst fund to push the technology forward towards commercialization. 

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