2019 Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award
Endowed by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation
Dr. Walt is the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Bioinspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School and professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He is a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor. Previously, he was university professor at Tufts University. His laboratory pioneered the use of microwell arrays for single-molecule detection and analysis, which has revolutionized the process of genetic and proteomic sequencing, enabling the cost of DNA sequencing and genotyping to plummet nearly a millionfold in the past decade. This technology is now the gold standard for sequencing in a wide variety of applications, including screening embryos for genetic defects before in vitro fertilization, studying disease in preserved tissues, improving crop disease resistance, and identifying individuals’ metabolic profiles to ensure proper drug dosage. Dr. Walt’s laboratory also introduced the idea of digital protein detection by developing a high-throughput technology for performing single molecule analysis. He is the scientific founder of Illumina and Quanterix Corp., and has co-founded several other life sciences startups including Ultivue, Arbor Biotechnologies, and Sherlock Biosciences. He has received many national and international awards and honors for his fundamental and applied work in the field of optical microwell arrays and single molecules. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and an inductee of the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame.