Challenges in the Commercialization of Microfluidics

Join us on May 30th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm, at Genentech Hall, UCSF Mission Bay.

This event is FREE to all participants. We look forward to seeing you there!

Eventbrite - Bay Area Microfluidics Network - Challenges in the Commercialization of Microfluidics Event

BAM is excited to host this event in collaboration with the UC Berkeley-UCSF Bioengineering Association of Students.

This event is generously sponsored by:



Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm

Location: Genentech Hall 1st Floor Atrium, 600 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94158



6:00 pm:

6:30 pm:

6:45 pm:



Prof. Adam Abate

Adam Abate graduated from Harvard College in 2002 with an A. B. in Physics. He then received a masters in physics from UCLA in 2004, before moving to the University of Pennsylvania where, in 2006, he received his Ph.D. in Physics studying the physics of soft materials with Douglas Durian. He returned to Harvard for a postdoc in Physics and Engineering in the lab of David Weitz, working on a variety of projects in soft matter physics, chemical and microparticle synthesis, and biological applications of microfluidics. While a postdoc, he developed a droplet-based microfluidic sequencer that became the foundation for the sequencing company GnuBIO. He is now an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS) in the Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy. He is in QB3 and part of the UC Berkeley-UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering, PSPG, and iPQB. His research interests are in high-throughput biology with microfluidics, protein engineering through directed evolution, and biophysics.

Dr. Barney Saunders

Dr. Barney Saunders brings a passion to managing emergent technologies and >30 years of experience in commercializing robust, disruptive solutions for life science tools and diagnostic companies. Barney joined the Purigen Biosystems team as CEO in November 2017. Purigen is developing a transformative platform provides a hands-free solution for extracting, enriching and quantifying DNA and RNA from biological samples. The company uses isotachophoresis (ITP), an electric-field-driven technique for purifying, focusing, and/or separating species, run on a microfluidic chip. The technology was pioneered by Dr. Juan Santiago at Stanford University. Prior to joining Purigen, Dr. Saunders was NanoString Technologies’ commercial leader, where he spent 7 years helping lead the company through significant revenue growth that supported an IPO in 2013. There he built a global commercial operation and launched many products based on the company’s proprietary bar-code technology; leading NanoString’s diagnostic and life sciences tools businesses.

From 2005 to 2010, Dr. Saunders was Chief Commercial Officer of Microchip Biotechnologies (now IntegenX), a manufacturer of automation systems enabling microsample preparation with a focus on DNA forensics; IntegenX was recently acquired by ThermoFisher. Prior to Microchip, he served as General Manager at Agilent Technologies where he led the team that launched Agilent’s in situ synthesized, full genome DNA microarrays for human, rat and mouse, and entered the array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) market. Dr. Saunders began his career with Amersham International, a biopharma company acquired by General Electric in 2004, where he held a variety of commercial positions in the United States and Europe, including leading their molecular biology and OEM products businesses. He holds a B.Sc. Hons in Biological Sciences and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Birmingham, England.


Dr. Phil Spuhler
Phil Spuhler leads the microfluidics team at BD Genomics in the development of fluidic tools for the genotyping of large single cell populations. He joined BD through the acquisition of Cellular Research Inc., a start-up founded by Steve Fodor, Stephen Quake, and Glenn Fu, to utilize molecular barcoding for genotyping of large single cell populations. There, he developed the consumables and fluidics for Rhapsody, Cellular Research’s high throughput single cell genotyping platform. Prior to Cellular Research, Phil was at MGH, Harvard Medical School in the labs of Mehmet Toner and Daniel Haber. He served as the lead engineer in the development and commercialization of a microfluidic platform for negative enrichment of circulating tumor cells from whole blood. This platform was developed in affiliation with Johnson & Johnson, Inc. and brought to market by TorpedoDx. Phil received his PhD in biomedical engineering from Boston University and his BS in electrical engineering from The University of Arizona.