Programme - Plenary Speaker

Lisa Hall

Professor Lisa Hall is Professor of Analytical Biotechnology in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge. She is an internationally recognised authority in the field of biosensors with her research encompassing areas of chemistry, molecular biology, biomedical engineering, and physics. Her research is focussed on understanding how biology can be interfaced with electronic, mechanical and optical systems and new ways to answer fundamental and applied questions concerning new measurement regimes to achieve diagnostic systems. She was awarded the Gold Medal by the Analytical Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2005 and the Alec Hough-Grassby Memorial Award by the Institute of Measurement & Control in 2009. In 2003 Professor Lisa Hall became the first female Professor of Queens' College, Cambridge and since 2013 she has been the first female Vice-President of the College. Lisa is equally well known in the world of sport for the disabled and is the President of DSUK (Disability Snowsport UK) and has special interest in communication with people with learning difficulties. In 2015 Lisa was appointed a CBE for services to higher education and sport for the disabled.

Plenary Title: Bioinspired materials engineered for diagnostics for low resource countries.

Infectious diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the low income countries. These patients present with fever and a wide range of non-specific symptoms, which are difficult to diagnose without specialist laboratory tests. The situation is similar for non-communicable diseases. Thus, instead of having accurate diagnosis, patients are more often managed based on probability and clinical judgment. This often means that broad-spectrum antibiotics are given as a ‘precautionary’. Tests are not done, because they are unaffordable or unavailable. In Mozambique for example, only 6% of facilities could carry out a blood glucose analysis and personal monitoring is not available in general. There have been numerous attempts to propose low cost diagnostics for LMICs, but when they are produced in high income countries they remain at high cost when taken in the local context. We will discuss a ‘gene to diagnostic’ approach to the biosensor design problem, in which molecular engineering is coupled with biosensor technologies to realise a new low-cost diagnostic concept where low-cost production is channelled to low resource manufacture and use.