Chris Toumazou

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Christofer Toumazou
Epo14 toumazou-0429.jpg
Born (1961-07-05) 5 July 1961 (age 58)
Alma materOxford Brookes University
Scientific career
FieldsElectronic Engineering/Medical Technology
InstitutionsImperial College London
ThesisUniversal current-mode analogue amplifiers (1986)
Doctoral advisorFrancis John Lidgey

Christofer "Chris" Toumazou, FRS, FREng, FMedSci, FIET, FIEEE, FCGI, FRSM, CEng (Greek: Χριστόφορος Τουμάζου, born 5 July 1961) is a British Cypriot electronic engineer.

In 2013 he became London's first Regius Professor of Engineering conferred to Imperial College London during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Toumazou is also Chief Scientist of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Circuit Design at Imperial; Founder of Toumaz Holdings Ltd, Executive chairman and Founder of DNA Electronics Ltd., Chief Scientific Advisor to GENEU and a Co-Founder of DNAnudge[1]

He has been involved in developing new technologies, mainly in medical field, creating a research institute and a number of commercial ventures to commercialise his research. Toumazou invented and licensed Portable and Rapid Semiconductor Genome Sequencing which has now become a multimillion-dollar industry. One of his motivators was the diagnosis of his 13-year-old son with end stage kidney failure through a rare genetic mutation.[2]

He has published over 500 research papers[3] and holds 50 patents in the field of semiconductors and healthcare. Toumazou's career began with the invention and development of novel concept of current-mode analogue circuitry for ultra-low-power electronic devices.

For his inventions on semiconductor based genetic testing he won the Gabor Medal of the Royal Society (2013) and European Inventor Award (2014).[4] He is the first British winner of the prize in this contest since 2008.[5]


Early life[edit]

Born to Greek-Cypriot parents in Cheltenham, it was expected he would follow his family by going into catering. He later trained to become an electrician, and was inspired by an English uncle who was an electrical engineer.[6]

Academic career[edit]

Toumazou began undergraduate studies in 1980. He obtained both his undergraduate degree and doctorate at the then Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University).[7] He moved to Imperial College London in 1986 as a Research Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering becoming the youngest professor at Imperial in 1994 at the age of 33. He was appointed Head of the Circuits and Systems Group in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and then Head of the Department of Bioengineering in 2001.

In 2003 he raised a total of £22m to create the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London, a multidisciplinary research institute focusing on personalised medicine and bionanotechnology.[8] He became its first Director and Chief Scientist. His own specialism is in the field of personalised healthcare, providing worn or implantable devices for early diagnosis and detection of disease.

His research and entrepreneurial actions have shown how natural analogue physics of silicon semiconductor technology can be used to mimic and replace biological functions. Examples of this include cochlear implants for born-deaf children, an artificial pancreas for type 1 diabetics, wireless heart monitors for personalised ambulatory health monitoring pre- and post- operatively, inventing semiconductor-based DNA sequencing and inventing an intelligent neural stimulator as a drug alternative for obesity.

He has given numerous public lectures and keynote addresses at a national and international level. In 2011 he was invited to speak at the TEDMED conference in San Diego.[9] Other notable lectures include the G8 Summit (2013) and Royal Society public talk (2011).

He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (2008), Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2008) and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2013), making him one of a handful in the UK who are fellows of all three premier societies.

Regius Professorship[edit]

Toumazou was awarded a prestigious Regius professorship, recognising the highest standard of research and teaching in the Faculty of Engineering. Announced on 29 January 2013, the honour was granted by the Queen as part of her 60th anniversary celebrations. David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: "I was incredibly impressed by the quality and range of the applications received and am delighted that twelve new Regius Professorships are to be created. Together, the successful applications demonstrated an exceptionally high level of achievement in both teaching and research [1]

Commercial career[edit]

He has been involved with a number of commercial ventures, including the invention and development of the world's first analogue and digital mobile phone for the largest mobile phone cellular operator in Thailand. Since then, his entrepreneurial focus has been applied to a range of innovative electronic devices which harness semiconductor chip technology to provide significant improvements in health and patient care.

He has co-founded technology-based companies using silicon technology for early detection and management of chronic disease: Toumaz Technology Ltd and DNA Electronics Ltd. These companies are examples of the successful translation of innovative inter-disciplinary research into disruptive market-driven products with practical benefits for patients.[10]

Toumazou founded DNA Electronics in 2001 recognising that by merging microchip technology with genetic chemistry and DNA sequencing he was able to invent, develop and commercialise a new revolution in genetic point-of-care diagnostics and DNA sequencing. The technology launched in 2010 as "ion semiconductor sequencing" and has been licensed to Thermo Fisher Scientific. DNA Electronics Ltd, is developing rapid near-patient live diagnostics providing actionable information to clinicians. DNAe's priority focus is a test for blood stream infections for use in the mana gement and prevention of sepsis.

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ DNAnudge. "DNAnudge". Company website.
  2. ^ "CNN,Chris Toumazou and Genalysis® on CNN Make Create Innovate".
  3. ^ Tomazou, Chris. "Google". Scholar.
  4. ^ Toumazou, Chris. "Invention: Microchip for quick DNA testing". European Patent Office.
  5. ^ "Technology for the common man' Financial Times, Engineering the future, 18 June 2014".
  6. ^ "Chris Toumazou", BBC Discovery podcast, 17 November 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2017
  7. ^ McKie, Robin (15 June 2014). "Newly crowned: Europe's top inventor". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Bio-Inspired Technologies" (PDF). Ingenia Issue 37 December 2008. Royal Academy of Engineering.
  9. ^ "When Will Wireless Medicine Change Healthcare?". TEDMED talk. TEDMED 2011.
  10. ^ Interview with Clive Cookson Financial Times
  11. ^ Chris. "Invention: Microchip for quick DNA testing".
  12. ^ "Gabor Medal". Royal Society. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Imperial College London has been awarded a prestigious Regius professorship, recognising the highest standard of research and teaching in the Faculty of Engineering". Imperial. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  14. ^ Toumazou, Christofer. "Bioinspired technology: from cochlear implants to an artificial pancreas". The Royal Society Lecture.
  15. ^ "Toumaz's Professor Chris Toumazou Elected to Prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Society". PRLog. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2009.

External links[edit]