David Klenerman

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David Klenerman

BornSeptember 1959 (age 59–60)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (MA, PhD)
Known forIllumina dye sequencing
Scanning ion-conductance microscopy
Super-resolution microscopy
Scientific career
FieldsBiophysical chemistry
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
Stanford University
ThesisInfrared chemiluminescence using a SISAM spectrometer (1985)
Doctoral advisorIan William Murison Smith
Other academic advisorsRichard Zare

Sir David Klenerman FRS FMedSci[3][4] (born 1959) is a British biophysical chemist and a professor of biophysical chemistry at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge[5] and a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge.[6] He is best known for his contribution in the field of next-generation sequencing of DNA (that subsequently resulted in Solexa, a high-speed DNA sequencing company that he co-founded),[1][7][8][9][10] nanopipette-based scanning ion-conductance microscopy,[11][12] and super-resolution microscopy.[13]


Klenerman was educated at the University of Cambridge where he was an undergraduate student of Christ's College, Cambridge and received his BA degree in 1982.[14] He earned his PhD degree in chemistry in 1986 as a postgraduate student of Churchill College, Cambridge and was supervised by Ian William Murison Smith.[15][2][14]

Career and research[edit]

After his doctorate, Klenerman went to Stanford University as a Fulbright scholar to work on high-overtone chemistry, with Richard Zare. After his postdoctoral research at Stanford, he returned to United Kingdom to work in BP Research for seven years. Then, in 1994, he joined the University of Cambridge, as a faculty member of the Department of Chemistry and a fellow of Christ's College.[2][14][16]

Klenerman, along with Shankar Balasubramanian, invented a method of next-generation DNA sequencing which is commonly known today as the Solexa sequencing or Illumina dye sequencing.[7][9] The method is based on the detection of fluorophore labelled nucleotides as they get incorporated in the DNA strands.[17] This sequencing by synthesis method gained popularity,[18][19] and is currently regarded as the most widely used platform to replace conventional Sanger sequencing technique, despite its comparatively low multiplexing capability of samples, as it offers several key advantages: it is automated, quick, highly accurate, capable of sequencing multiple strands simultaneously via massive parallel sequencing, and economically cheaper in case of whole genome sequencing.[20][21][22]

He is also known for exploring nanopipette-based (instead of conventional micropipette-based) scanning ion-conductance microscopy methods.[11][23] His research group was successful in achieving very high resolution topographic images of live-cells, in hopping mode imaging, in precise delivery of small molecules to cell, and in studying real time detailed cell-functioning.[12][24][25]

Most recently, his group is focusing on 3D super-resolution microscopy to develop new insights on protein misfolding and neurodegenerative diseases.[13]

Commercial activities[edit]

Klenerman and Shankar Balasubramanian commercialised their invention on the single-molecule-fluorescence based high-speed DNA sequencing and jointly founded Solexa in 1998. Later, in 2007, this company was acquired by Illumina for $600 million.[7][26][27][28][29]

In 2004, Klenerman co-founded another spin-out company, Ionscope, to supply assembled scanning ion-conductance microscopes to the research community that looks for high-resolution 3D images of live cells. As per the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, as of February 2014, Ionscope sold 35 SICM units worldwide.[30]

Awards and honours[edit]

The major awards and honours that Klenerman received in recognition of his research work:


  1. ^ a b "David KLENERMAN - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk.
  2. ^ a b c d "Interdisciplinary Award 2007 Winner". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b "David Klenerman: Royal Society". Fellows Directory. Royal Society. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Fellow: Academy of Medical Sciences". Academy of Medical Sciences, United Kingdom. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Professor David Klenerman FMedSci FRS". Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Professor David Klenerman". Christ's College, Cambridge. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "History of Illumina Sequencing". Illumina. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  8. ^ Davies, Kevin (7 September 2010). The $1,000 Genome. Free Press. pp. 102–115. ISBN 978-1416569596. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  9. ^ a b Bentley, DR; Balasubramanian, S; Swerdlow, HP; et al. (6 November 2008). "Accurate whole human genome sequencing using reversible terminator chemistry". Nature. 456 (7218): 53–59. Bibcode:2008Natur.456...53B. doi:10.1038/nature07517. PMC 2581791. PMID 18987734.
  10. ^ "The Solexa Story". Bio-IT World (September–October 2010). 28 September 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Nanodoodling shows pipette power". BBC News. 5 September 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Drawing With DNA: Nanopipette allows voltage-controlled delivery of biomolecules to a surface". Chemical & Engineering News (Volume 83, Number 44). American Chemical Society. 31 October 2005. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  13. ^ a b Hell, Stefan W.; Sahl, Steffen J.; Bates, Mark; Zhuang, Xiaowei; Heintzmann, Rainer; Booth, Martin J.; Bewersdorf, Joerg; Shtengel, Gleb; Hess, Harald; Tinnefeld, Philip; Honigmann, Alf; Jakobs, Stefan; Testa, Ilaria; Cognet, Laurent; Lounis, Brahim; Ewers, Helge; Davis, Simon J.; Eggeling, Christian; Klenerman, David; Willig, Katrin I.; Vicidomini, Giuseppe; Castello, Marco; Diaspro, Alberto; Cordes, Thorben; Steffen J Sahl; Tinnefeld, Philip; Klenerman, David; Katrin I Willig (14 October 2015). "The 2015 super-resolution microscopy roadmap". Journal of Physics D. 48 (44): 443001. arXiv:1711.04999. Bibcode:2015JPhD...48R3001H. doi:10.1088/0022-3727/48/44/443001.
  14. ^ a b c Anon (2017). "Klenerman, Prof. David". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.266724. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  15. ^ Klenerman, David (1985). Infrared chemiluminescence using a SISAM spectrometer. lib.cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 499899771. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.355881.
  16. ^ "David Klenerman elected FRS". Christ's College, Cambridge. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  17. ^ Balasubramanian, Shankar (4 May 2011). "Sequencing nucleic acids: from chemistry to medicine". Chemical Communications. 47 (26): 7281–7286. doi:10.1039/c1cc11078k. PMC 3428630. PMID 21544287.
  18. ^ Quail, Michael A (25 November 2008). "A large genome center's improvements to the Illumina sequencing system". Nature Methods. 5 (12): 1005–1010. doi:10.1038/nmeth.1270. PMC 2610436. PMID 19034268.
  19. ^ Cronn, Richard (27 August 2008). "Multiplex sequencing of plant chloroplast genomes using Solexa sequencing-by-synthesis technology". Nucleic Acids Research. 36 (19): e122. doi:10.1093/nar/gkn502. PMC 2577356. PMID 18753151. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  20. ^ Metzker, Michael L. (8 December 2009). "Sequencing technologies – the next generation". Nature Reviews Genetics. 11 (1): 31–46. CiteSeerX doi:10.1038/nrg2626. PMID 19997069.
  21. ^ Pettersson, Erik; Lundeberg, Joakim; Ahmadian, Afshin (2009). "Generations of sequencing technologies". Genomics. 93 (2): 105–111. doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2008.10.003. PMID 18992322.
  22. ^ Quail, Michael A (24 July 2012). "A tale of three next generation sequencing platforms: comparison of Ion Torrent, Pacific Biosciences and Illumina MiSeq sequencers". BMC Genomics. 13 (341): 341. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-341. PMC 3431227. PMID 22827831.
  23. ^ Shevchuk, Andrew I (2011). "Realizing the biological and biomedical potential of nanoscale imaging using a pipette probe". Nanomedicine. 6 (3): 565–575. doi:10.2217/nnm.10.154. PMID 21542692.
  24. ^ Chen, Chiao-Chen; Zhou, Yi; Baker, Lane A. (2012). "Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy". Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry. 5 (207): 207–228. Bibcode:2012ARAC....5..207C. doi:10.1146/annurev-anchem-062011-143203. PMID 22524219.
  25. ^ Bergner, Stefan; Vatsyayan, Preety; Matysik, Frank-Michael (2 May 2013). "Recent advances in high resolution scanning electrochemical microscopy of living cells – A review". Analytica Chimica Acta. 775: 1–13. doi:10.1016/j.aca.2012.12.042. PMID 23601970.
  26. ^ "Cutting the UK science budget would be a false economy". Financial Times. The Nikkei. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  27. ^ "$600m for DNA firm". Varsity. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  28. ^ "Illumina Buys Solexa". Forbes. 13 November 2006. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Illumina to Buy Solexa For $600 Million in Stock". The Wall Street Journal. 13 November 2006. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  30. ^ "New microscope technology enables imaging of live cells". BBSRC. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  31. ^ "British Biophysical Society Lecture Tour". University College Dublin. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  32. ^ Royal Medal 2018
  33. ^ [1]