Body fluids like tears, sweat, urine and serum contain many thousands of small organic molecules, and
these metabolites give us a rich, easily accessible view of our day-to-day health. However, metabolites
are hard to deal with — each metabolite is biochemically distinct, and it is impossible to easily amplify
them. The current tools available to analyse metabolites are very powerful but extremely costly — in
research and in diagnostics, mass spectrometry is widely regarded as the gold standard, but its use is
limited by the requirement of a dedicated facility and highly trained technicians.
Currently based out of the University of Toronto, we have invented a novel technology to address these limitations and make metabolite detection more accessible. Our multiplexed, barcoded assay comprise of sensors that each releases a unique DNA sequence or ‘barcode’ when they see their ligands — by reading these released barcodes, we can detect hundreds of metabolites in parallel in a single sample and even in the minute quantities present in single cells.
Our pitch for UTEST Investor Day 2021
Prof. Andrew Fraser is a full Professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine with over 30 years of experience in the genomics and systems biology fields. He has a strong history developing new platforms and technology, and co-founded Camena Biosciences where he spearheaded the invention of a patented gSynth DNA synthesis technology.
Maria Mercado is a fifth-year PhD student with deep expertise in population genetics and metabolism. She also has extensive experience fund-raising and liaising with stakeholders in public and private sections through her work as President of the Life Sciences Career Development Society (LSCDS) and as a co-founder of the national Life Sciences Career Expo (LSCE).
Dr. June Tan is a post-doctoral fellow with over 10 years of experience working on various genomics projects. She has acquired a strong background in generating and analyzing large-scale sequencing datasets from her PhD and post-doctoral work, and has led the development of our novel small molecule sensors for metabolite detection.
Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto
160 College Street, Rm 1240
Toronto, ON, M5S 3E1