Lumora’s CEO, Dr Laurence Tisi is this year’s winner of the Commercial Innovator Prize, along with Professor Jim Murray of Cardiff University for the development of the BART (Bioluminescent Assay in Real Time) system, which detects infectious organisms including bacteria and viruses using luciferase, the same enzyme which lights up fireflies.
The BART system triggers luciferase to produce light when it detects specific DNA or RNA sequences, making it a quick and easy method for molecular testing. The technology, originally developed for industrial microbiology, is now being applied to clinical infectious diseases, including HIV and C. difficile. The system is uniquely robust and low-cost making it ideal for non-specialist settings, something of particular value in low-resource areas.
I would like to congratulate the winners on their success. Their innovative ideas highlight the vital role that scientific knowledge plays in driving growth in important sectors like healthcare, food, and pharmaceuticals.Vince Cable
The Innovator of the Year Awards, now in their fourth year, were established by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in order to encourage researchers to consider the potential of their research and take the necessary steps to maximise the social and economic impact of their work.
The awards were presented by Business Secretary Vince Cable, who said, ‘I would like to congratulate the winners on their success. Their innovative ideas highlight the vital role that scientific knowledge plays in driving growth in important sectors like healthcare, food, and pharmaceuticals.
‘The UK is a world leader in the biosciences and it is vital that we capitalise on this strength to deliver the maximum social and economic benefit. All of the finalists have gone to impressive lengths to ensure that the impacts of their research are felt well beyond the scientific community and this is truly worth celebrating.’
The finalists were selected by an independent judging panel to compete in each of the three categories and for the overall prize.
Lumora was spun-out from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology in 2003.
Photo credit: Alineando secuencias by Shaury Nash via Flickr
Feature photo credit: BBSRCTags: BART, commercial innovator prize, DNA, jim murray, laurence tisi, lumora, vince cable