2002 Winner: Outstanding Leadership In Alberta Technology
Lab-On-A-Chip Technology Positioned For Worldwide Impact
Dr. Jed Harrison is a true pioneer in the miniaturization of instrumentation for biochemical and genetic analysis. His research is internationally recognized for providing better on-site analyses for a variety of clinical, industrial and consumer applications. His well-known lab-on-a-chip concept uses microchip manufacturing methods to integrate entire chemical lab processes onto a single chip.
Real World Applications
The research has many real-world applications including rapid clinical diagnostics for drug, disease and genetic analysis, speeding up the drug discovery process, and analyzing for biowarfare agents. Products based upon his concepts are being intensely developed by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in Canada, the United States and Japan.
Dr. Harrison works with scientists at the Suffield Research Station in Alberta, where his microchip devices are tested in the field for detection of biological warfare agents, and with both the Alberta and National Research Councils on applying microchips to automating the complex protein analyses required by Proteomics researchers. In that program, he has developed protein preparation chips coupled to a mass-spectrometric detector, and methods to manipulate and analyze single cells on a chip. This chip fabrication technology and instrumentation has been transferred and is utilized by Micralyne and Dycor in Alberta, and patents were licensed by MDS-Sciex for proteome analysis and drug discovery methods. Additional patents are licensed by the Alberta start-up Advanced Integrated Microsystems, of which Dr. Harrison is a founder.
The Exciting Future
Dr. Harrison’s technology is considered a key component in the coming revolution in biochemical analysis in general — but especially for on-site applications to clinical, biological, industrial and environmental problems. His leadership in a field that is expanding exponentially demonstrates worldwide impact and recognition for commercial applications.