Stephen Quake is full Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. His work has been honored in the past by prestigious awards including most recently the 2012 Lemelson-MIT Prize.
Stephen Quake developed key technologies that enabled advances in a broad range of fields from single molecule biophysics to molecular biology and microbial ecology. With deep physical insight he introduced new large-scale quantitative approaches in many areas of biology that allow questions to be asked that were previously impossible to address. One of his pioneering efforts extends to the field of microfluidics and its application to biophysics. Microfluidics, which is essentially miniaturized plumbing, offers the possibility of solving outstanding automation issues in biology and chemistry. Stephen Quake’s basic research in this area has led to the development of new biophysical measurement technology and its application to a broad variety of questions. One of his seminal contributions in this field was the development of the first microfluidic large-scale integration, fabricating chips with thousands of mechanical valves, fundamentally redefining the field. Steven Quake has used this new technology to explore a number of questions of fundamental biophysical interest, such as the development of physics-based approaches to protein crystallization and structural biology, the application of molecular affinity measurements to large-scale mapping of transcription-factor binding properties, and the development of single cell genomics.
Stephen Quake will give the HFSP Nakasone Lecture at the annual meeting of HFSP awardees to be held in Strasbourg (France) in July 2013.