CEO of ProtonDx, Dr Pantelis Georgiou, was promoted to Professor of Biomedical Electronics in the annual promotion round at Imperial College London, one of only six to achieve this accolade this year. Professor Peter Lindstedt, Assistant Provost (Academic Promotions) said “I was hugely impressed by the standard of candidate across every faculty”
In an article on the College website Professor Georgiou talked to reporter Jane Horrell about his excitement at working at the interface between the disciplines of engineering and medicine.
“When I was appointed as a Lecturer within the Circuits and Systems group of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2011, my vision was to create next generation medical devices through innovations in bio‑inspired microelectronic technology. I am the Director of the Bio‑inspired Metabolic and Infection technology lab, within the Centre for Bio‑inspired Technology, where I lead a diverse team of multidisciplinary researchers ranging from microchip designers, electronic engineers, molecular biologists and clinicians. Bringing together these various disciplines in one vibrant place and setting a culture of innovation and collaboration has been key to our success in creating and translating new healthcare technologies.
My journey in this field started with the development of devices for management of Type 1 Diabetes, creating and clinically validating the world’s first bio‑inspired artificial pancreas, a fully closed‑loop system enabling real time measurement of glucose and insulin release using a bio‑inspired microchip. More recently, I have had a core focus in creating new technologies for rapid detection of Infectious Diseases through innovations in microchip‑based Lab‑on‑Chip systems. These enable the realisation of small portable devices with diagnostic utility as you would expect from a sophisticated lab, measuring with high sensitivity and specificity DNA and RNA related to an infection. They have been successfully deployed for detection of malaria, tuberculosis, bacterial resistant infections addressing Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), and more recently have been repurposed to make a handheld molecular diagnostic test for COVID‑19.
“A lot of my diagnostics work is also targeted towards developing countries where it can have the most impact, as access to hospitals and advanced healthcare systems is limited, and we have ongoing programmes with collaborations in Africa, Thailand and Vietnam. Being an advocate for technology in infectious diseases, within Imperial College, I am the Chief Scientist of the Centre for Antimicrobial Optimisation and also the Faculty of Engineering Champion for our newly founded Institute of Infection, aiming to maximise the impact new technologies can have in this space.
"With a core background in microelectronics in the Department, I teach advanced courses on Analogue Integrated Circuit Design and I am the course director for our MSc in Analogue and Digital Integrated Circuit Design. My research always runs hand in hand with my teaching and interactions with our students has also been key, as I look to inspire the next generation of Biomedical Engineers. That is why I also introduced and lecture a course in Biomedical Electronics which gives our students the opportunity to gain expertise in this field. Outreach and societal engagement are also important for communicating and informing the public of the latest research and its impact, and with my group we have been very active in conducting several interactive demonstrations of our technologies at Imperial Festival and events hosted by the Science Museum, the Royal Institution and the UK parliament."