Adam Woolley, Professor and Associate Department Chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at Brigham Young University, has been honored with the Mid-career Achievement Award by the AES Electrophoresis Society in the SCIX 2015 meeting held in Providence, Rhode Island in September 2015.
The Mid-Career Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the fields of electrophoresis, electrokinetics and related areas; and are currently in the middle of their career. The governing board of the society elected Adam “For pioneering advances in electrically driven microfluidic separations for both genomic and proteomic analyses and for development of novel fabrication techniques materials for microfluidics”. Previous winners of this award include Kevin Dorfman and Todd Squires.
Prof. Woolley earned his PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1997. After his postdoctoral work at Harvard University he joined the faculty of Brigham Young University in 2000. At BYU, his contributions as an independent investigator shifted from his doctoral work on DNA analysis in glass microchips to protein and peptide analysis in polymer microfluidic devices. While thermopolymer microchips offer a promising low-cost alternative to glass microfluidic devices, challenges in bonding and patterning of these devices hindered their widespread adoption. As such, Professor Woolley’s group has developed solvent-based bonding and solvent-based imprinting methods that reduce fabrication time and enable much higher bonding strengths than were previously attainable. He also pioneered the use of phase changing sacrificial materials such as waxes that protect the channel dimensions during solvent bonding or semipermeable membrane incorporation and can be easily removed following device assembly. The interfacing of semipermeable membranes with microchannels enabled the first microchip electric field gradient focusing (EFGF) apparatus to be developed, which is a nonlinear separation method enabling simultaneous separation and concentration of analytes. Protein enrichment factors of up to 10,000 were demonstrated using EFGF and other configurations that incorporated semipermeable membranes. These and many other innovations in design, fabrication and detection that cannot be detailed here have been applied to enrichment and quantitative analysis of low-abundance biomarkers from biofluids. Adam’s conributions to the fields of microfluidic and electrophoresis include nearly 120 scientific publications and 9 patents. His work has been cited over 6,000 times.
“Based on the incredibly productive career put forth by Professor Woolley so far, this Mid-Career recognition is a reflection of a bright future. Among his early career accomplishments were many ‘firsts’ in manipulating and analyzing biomolecules. We look forward to working with him as he continues to grow as a professional” said Mark Hayes, president of AES 2013-2015.
The AES Electrophoresis Society, previously the American Electrophoresis Society or AES, is a unique organization founded in 1980 to improve and promote technologies for electrophoretic separation and detection. With time, this focus has expanded to include all electrokinetic and related techniques for the advancement of different fields. The expertise of our members stretches from electrophoresis to dielectrophoresis and micro/nanofluidics with application in healthcare diagnostics, forensics, and advanced manufacturing. The mission of the society is to promote excellence across diverse disciplines; facilitate communication between members worldwide; facilitate the training of scientists and students in electrokinetic technologies; and facilitate peers training peers across the globe. This mission is supported by hosting forums and conferences, recognizing the top talent in electrokinetics and supporting the development of the next generation of researchers and educators.