Dr. Francesco Piraino conducted post-doctoral work at the Broad Institute affiliated with Harvard and MIT and received his PhD from the Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Since 2013 Dr. Piraino has been working as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Maerkl to develop next generation microfluidic diagnostics platforms, and has spearheaded the development of digital MITOMI.
Francesca received her bachelor and master degrees from Università degli studi di Roma "Sapienza" and has been working the laboratory of Prof. Maerkl since 2012. Francesca published several peer-reviewed manuscripts describing the development of microfluidic platforms for protein quantitation and molecular diagnostics.
Prof. Maerkl received B.S. degrees in Biology and in Chemistry from Fairleigh-Dickinson University. He then joined the Biophysics and Biochemistry Department at the California Institute of Technology and contributed to the early development of microfluidic technology. In 2008 Prof. Maerkl was awarded the Demetriades-Tasfka-Kokalis prize for the best Caltech PhD thesis in the field of Biotechnology. He was also awarded 1st place at the Innovator’s Challenge, a competition amongst inventors and entrepreneurs from Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Caltech. Since 2008 Prof. Maerkl holds a position as an Assistant Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in the Institute of Bioengineering and the School of Engineering. Prof. Maerkl published 28 peer-reviewed publications many of these in high-impact journals including Science, Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Methods, and PNAS.
Dr. Maerkl received his PhD in chemistry from the Munich Institute of Technology (TUM). In 1984 he joined a global player of the chemical industry and had several positions in manufacturing, strategic marketing and technology & strategy in the field of man-made fibers and performance polymers. Consequently he was heading the global R&D Group for chemical engineering, being responsible for the technical feasibility of all major investment projects. In the last 6 years he was subsequently heading two business units with the responsibility for approximately 1000 employees and annual sales of 1 billion €. He was successful in the M&A business by selling the fibers business and acquiring a performance polymers business in 2003 with a transaction value of approximately 250 million USD and combined sales of 720 million USD. In addition he divested the fertilizer business in 2012 with a transaction value of approximately 800 million € and sales of 800 million €.
After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Kapur obtained a PhD in Statistics from Stanford University, and carried out post-doctoral research at the University of Lausanne. Throughout her academic career Dr. Kapur has analyzed high-throughput clinical and biological data including genome-wide genetic association studies, microarray gene expression arrays, and ultra-high-throughput sequencing data. Additionally, Dr. Kapur led collaborations both interdisciplinary and across multiple academic institutions. Dr. Kapur’s industry experience includes pre-clinical statistics at Genentech and medical device clinical trial design and analysis at Biosensors International. She currently holds a position as a Clinical Biomarker Sciences Expert Statistician at Novartis.