Stephen Quake

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Stephen Quake
Stephen Quake (4866285813).jpg
Quake in 2010
Alma materStanford University, Oxford University
Known forMicrofluidics, Genomics
AwardsLemelson–MIT Prize (2012)
Gabbay Award (2015)
Scientific career
Fieldsbiophysics, genomics
InstitutionsStanford University
ThesisTheory and experiments in polymer physics with single molecules of DNA (1994)
Academic advisorsRobin Stinchcombe, Steven Chu

Stephen Ronald Quake (born 1969) is an American scientist, inventor and entrepreneur.[1] He earned his B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Mathematics from Stanford in 1991 and his D.Phil. in Physics from Oxford University in 1994 as a Marshall Scholar. His thesis research was in statistical mechanics and the effects of knots on polymers. He did his postdoctoral work at Stanford in single molecule biophysics with Steven Chu. Quake joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology at the age of 26, where he rose through the ranks and was ultimately appointed the Thomas and Doris Everhart Professor of Applied Physics and Physics. He moved back to Stanford University in 2005 to help launch a new department in Bioengineering, where he is now the Lee Otterson Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics. From 2006 to 2016 he was an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Quake was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2013 for achievements in single-cell analysis and large-scale integration of microfluidic devices. He has also been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Physical Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, including the Human Frontiers of Science Nakasone Prize, the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award (2015), the MIT-Lemelson Prize for Innovation,[2] the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics, the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the American Society of Microbiology’s Promega Biotechnology Award, and the Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing’s Pioneer of Miniaturization Award. He has founded or co-founded several companies, including Fluidigm, Helicos Biosciences, Verinata Health, Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, Moleculo, Cellular Research and Immumetrix. Since October 2016, he has been leading as the co-president of Biohub.

Quake is known for his new approaches to biological measurement. He has made contributions to the field of microfluidics, including the invention of microfluidic large scale integration, and developed applications of microfluidics to structural biology, drug discovery, and molecular affinity measurements. He has also made contributions to the field of genomics, including single molecule DNA sequencing, techniques to perform single cell gene expression and genome sequencing, the development of non-invasive prenatal diagnostics to replace amniocentesis, prenatal genome sequencing, non-invasive tests for heart transplant rejection, and the development of approaches to sequence and analyze an individual's immune system.[1] His genome was the subject of clinical annotation by a large team in the Stanford Hospital. Quake is also known as a former academic adviser to He Jiankui, the controversial scientist who was involved with, purportedly, the first gene-edited babies.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Bulluck, Pam (14 April 2019). "Gene-Edited Babies: What a Chinese Scientist Told an American Mentor". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Stanford professor wins $500G MIT invention prize". Fox News. 4 June 2012.

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