The inventor who could help halt the march of drug-resistant disease with a futuristic hand-held lab, went back to school in Lewes this week to show how science is crossing the final frontier.
Jonathan O’Halloran, founder of medical technology company QuantuMDx, was inspired to study genetics by a Sixth Form biology class at Lewes Old Grammar School.
“It was one of those moments where you saw your future,” he said. “We were looking at evolution happening in front of our eyes.”
On Wednesday, November 4, the former student, whom Bill Gates described as ‘the cool tech man’, returned to inspire today’s pupils to follow in his footsteps as part of a series of real-world careers events.
They had a rare chance to see him demonstrating the technology behind the QuantuMDx Q-POC device, which is now in field trials. Roughly the same size and cost as a smart phone, it could save millions of lives by reducing DNA analysis and treatment time for drug-resistant diseases from weeks to a matter of minutes.
The 39-year-old, who has just been named European Chief Technology Officer of the Year, said: “It’s fantastic to think my career started at LOGS and in a lab that I built in my garage in Uckfield.”
His former biology teacher Dr Ann Bishop, who remembers the young O’Halloran as an extremely enthusiastic student, wasn’t the only familiar face in the audience when Jonathan joined a panel discussion on careers later the same day. Several of Jonathan’s old school chums and his parents, who live in Framfield, were also among the guests.
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