B.Sc. University of Mumbai, India
M.Eng. University of Alberta, Canada
Ph.D. University of Alberta, Canada
Senior Research Scientist, Vancouver Prostate Centre
Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, University of British Columbia
Principle Investigator, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia
Associated Scientist, BC Cancer Research Institute
Dr. Govind Kaigala started his position as an Associate Professor at the School of Biomedical Engineering at UBC in 2022 and concurrently leads activities on an Advanced Tumor Profiling program at the Vancouver Prostate Center. He and the team, along with collaborators, strive to work on topics around microscale technologies, medical devices and algorithms and apply them to different facets of cancer biology and diagnostics.
Dr. Kaigala earned his PhD from the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Oncology in 2009 from the University of Alberta where he developed microfluidic systems for genetic analysis. He completed an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University between the Microfluidics Laboratory in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Dept. of Urology at the Stanford Medical School (VA Hospital). In 2010 he joined the Research laboratory of IBM in Zurich and worked until 2022 where he was a Senior Scientist and a Principal Investigator leading a team of researchers in the area of Precision Diagnostics. He participated regularly in student training and was a recognized PhD advisor at ETH-Z, EPFL and Technion University.
Dr. Kaigala has authored and co-authored 70 papers in refereed journals and co-authored a book on open-space microfluidics. He has been the co-author on over 45 families of patents and his work has influenced the design of biotech products in the industry in the field of hematology and protein analysis. In recognition of his development of intellectual property, Dr. Kaigala was named “master inventor” by IBM in 2019. His research is in the areas of microscale fluid control, microscale molecular assays and technologies for personalized medicine and is passionate about translational clinical/medical research. With his team, he strives to bring quantitation in biology and medicine by leveraging bioinstrumentation and micro-and nanosystems. Science originating from the Kaigala group has been recognized through the European Research Council grants, several IBM awards (10 in total) and the Horizon Alumni Award from the University of Alberta in 2014. He was named Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2020.
Laboratory name: Quantitative technologies for biology and medicine
The focus of Kaigala’s team is understanding and characterizing spatio-temporal biological processes, which requires interrogation of biological samples across different scales and innovations in technological devices and platforms, highly sensitive bioassays, and multimodal data integration within cell biology and pathology workflows. The team will develop microscale devices and technologies for spatio-temporal analysis that can help interrogate several life-processes at different scales. Such technologies are strongly applicable in cancer research and for advancing the broader vision of personalized molecular medicine. Along with innovations in microtechnology, we will develop precision bioanalytics to help create robust solutions for studying and engineering cellular interactions and enabling next-generation quantitative molecular pathology. In addition to assisting in discovery-based research, these new methods may assist in improved patient stratification and diagnostics, and the multi-modal acquisition and data handling may also aid in better therapeutic decisions.
Selected ongoing projects:
- Low-analyte detection systems. In performing spatio-temporal interrogation of biological samples, two main challenges arise, analytes are often retrieved from a few cells at low concentrations and low volumes using traditional recovery methods, and the transient changes in biomolecular content of cells are difficult to track and quantify due to slow and inefficient sampling. Capabilities to engineer devices, methods and systems will be developed as part of this project.
- Microscale fluid control platforms. Microscale flow control techniques are at the core of implementing spatial bioassays.
- Cellular interface engineering. We are developing new ways to create unique biological interfaces to study heterogeneity in 2D and 3D.
- Multiomic data acquisition and integration. New approaches to process FFPE and frozen tissues to perform a range of biochemical and biophysical interrogation of tissues.
Updated July 13, 2022