2019 Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day Speakers

Keynote: David R. Walt

David R. Walt is an internationally-recognized expert in nanoscience and diagnostics and has invented numerous transformative technologies that have led to major commercial successes. Dr. Walt has had a highly successful academic career combined with significant entrepreneurial activity. He is Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Bioinspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 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 development of microwell arrays, which revolutionized the field of genetic analysis. Dr. Walt’s laboratory also introduced the idea of digital protein detection by developing a high throughput technology for performing single molecule analysis.

Dr. Walt is the Scientific Founder of Illumina and served on the Board of Illumina for 18 years.  He is the Scientific Founder and a Director of Quanterix Corporation (Lexington MA), which is the market leader in single molecule protein analysis. He is also a founder and Director of Ultivue Inc. (Cambridge MA). Dr. Walt is a Director of Ultivue, Inc., Exicure, Inc., Arbor Biotechnologies, and Sherlock Biosciences.  Dr. Walt is also one of the founders of Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, a non-profit entity focused on marine and fisheries genomics. He has published over 350 peer-reviewed papers, has over 100 issued US patents, and has received numerous national and international awards and honors for his fundamental and applied work in the field of optical arrays and single molecules. Dr. Walt 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 American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and was inducted in the US Inventor’s Hall of Fame.

Dr. Walt received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from SUNY at Stony Brook.