2nd December 2016
World-renowned biomedical pioneer Professor Chris Toumazou given special Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of career in ground-breaking innovations
London, United Kingdom, December 2nd 2016 – DnaNudge, the developer of the world’s first DNA-based service to “nudge” consumers towards genetically optimal buying behaviour, today announces that co-founder Regius Professor Chris Toumazou has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Elektra European Electronics Industry Awards 2016. The award was made at a gala ceremony held in London last night, presented by leading UK electronics industry magazine Electronics Weekly.
The Elektra Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Professor Toumazou at the 14th annual awards ceremony in recognition of his dedication to saving and improving lives through leading-edge medical research. His list of achievements includes cochlear implants for born-deaf children, an artificial pancreas for type 1 diabetics and a wireless heart monitor for personalised post-operative healthcare. In 2004, he invented and commercialised a semiconductor device that is radically changing the way in which DNA genetic sequencing is used in medical diagnosis, and which provides the technology platform for his latest venture, DnaNudge.
DnaNudge is a UK-based start-up co-founded by Professor Chris Toumazou and published geneticist and leukaemia researcher Dr Maria Karvela. The company is developing a disruptive new genetic testing service that empowers consumers with the information and assistive app technology to help them make the healthiest food shopping choices for their genetic characteristics. DnaNudge is currently trialling its solution with Imperial College London, ahead of wider commercial roll-out.
With a unique focus on user privacy and control of your own genetic data, DnaNudge harnesses the principles of nudge theory (“nudgeomics”) to power better lifestyle choices based on an individual’s unique genetic make-up. DnaNudge couples proprietary DNA semiconductor technology and innovative genotyping techniques with Dr Karvela’s world-first database that matches the nutritional values of manufactured food products with genetic characteristics. The result is completely personalised product recommendations towards healthier choices – a DNA “nudge” – delivered through a wearable device or a mobile app.
At a retail counter, consumers will select a DNA cartridge and input saliva via a cheek swab. The cartridge is inserted into a portable purpose-built analyser. Minute quantities of DNA will then be automatically analysed within about 15 minutes. The results, which are entirely confidential to the user, are transmitted to the DnaNudge cloud database via blockchain security. These are then analysed using a secure mobile phone app which personalises your shopping experience with bespoke “scan and shop” recommendations of the products that are genetically optimal for you – at the touch of a button, and in the palm of your hand.
Commenting on his award, Professor Toumazou said: “I am grateful to the Elektra European Electronics Industry Awards organisers for this prestigious accolade, which I am delighted to receive.” He continued: “The vision for DnaNudge is very much a progression of my lifetime’s work in consumerised biomedical solutions – improving public health by guiding people with a “DNA nudge” to make better day-to-day purchasing choices. The ability of technology to generate a profound and long-term impact on health and wellbeing has been a motivating factor throughout my career, and I’m excited to be continuing to drive this through DnaNudge.”
DnaNudge CEO Dr Maria Karvela commented: “We are immensely proud of Professor Toumazou’s achievements, and the team congratulates him on this recognition of his major contribution to biomedical innovation.” She added: “With DnaNudge, we are now working together to spearhead a new era of DNA-based personalised shopping that will not only create a more empowered and better informed experience for consumers, but will also help to tackle some of the major – and escalating – public health challenges of this century, including the epidemic rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes.”
DnaNudge is the developer of the world’s first DNA-based service to “nudge” consumers towards genetically optimal buying behavior.
One size does not fit all when it comes to nutrition – each one of us is uniquely genetically wired to breakdown and absorb nutrients differently. With the world facing a major pandemic of obesity, related conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are endangering lives and straining healthcare systems across the world.
Co-founded by Regius Professor Chris Toumazou and published geneticist and leukaemia researcher Dr Maria Karvela, DnaNudge uses proprietary DNA semiconductor technology and innovative genotyping techniques coupled with the world’s first database that matches the nutritional values of manufactured food products with genetic characteristics. The result is to completely personalised product recommendations towards healthier choices – a DNA “nudge” – delivered through a wearable device or a mobile app.
The company’s DNA-based “nudgeomics” concept is now delivering a new breed of consumer genetics testing and information services in a way that has simply not been seen before – sustainable, completely private, totally secure, and direct-to-consumer. Small changes, big outcomes.
Professor Toumazou is London’s first Regius Professor of Engineering, at Imperial College London where he holds a Chair in Biomedical Circuits in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He is also Director of the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology, and Founder and Chief Scientist of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering. He was made a Professor at Imperial College at 33, one of the youngest ever in recognition of his research.
Chris Toumazou’s work has been dedicated to saving and improving lives through the invention of revolutionary, innovative and disruptive technology and the creation of a leading-edge medical research institute and four commercial ventures to commercialise his research.
Chris’s achievements include cochlear implants for born-deaf children, an artificial pancreas for type 1 diabetics, wireless heart monitors for personalised ambulatory health monitoring (pre - and post- operatively), an intelligent neural stimulator as a drug alternative for obesity, and inventing and commercialising semiconductor-based DNA sequencing which has now become a multi-million dollar industry.
In this and many other areas he has published over 780 research papers, holds over 53 patents and employs over 350 people in his combined medical device companies (Toumaz Technology Ltd, DNA Electronics Ltd and Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London). Chris’s newest venture is start-up company DnaNudge which is developing the first saliva-based, user-operated genetic ‘self-test’ to personalise consumers’ shopping experience.
In 2009 he was appointed to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Fellowship of the Royal Society and in 2013 a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, making Chris one of a few in the UK who are fellows of all three societies.
In 2009 Chris received the World Technology Award for the Health & Medicine. In 2013 he was invited to speak on healthcare at the G8 Summit in the UK and was also awarded the Royal Society Gabor Medal for his invention of semiconductor sequencing.
In June 2014 Chris received the European Inventor of the year Award by the European Patent Office for his invention of a microchip for rapid DNA testing. In 2015 Chris received the prestigious Faraday Medal of the Institute of Engineering Technology and the same year the IEEE Field Medal for Bio-Engineering for the Invention of Semiconductor Sequencing.
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