Using a range of particle and astrophysics techniques, Dr John Hassard and his team have developed protein analysis systems, DNA sequencers and a suite of other fundamental tools which exceed conventional approaches in biological analysis in sensitivities, resolution, accuracy, and throughput. For example, using a technique now known as 'DNA Vertexing' (based directly on work pioneered in the HEP group at Imperial in the 1990's) the Hassard group can sequence long reads of DNA in a fraction of the time conventional systems take, with an almost negligible cost per base-pair analysed. In protein work, a similar technology allows them to replace many applications of 2D gel electrophoresis with a more accurate and fast chip-based approach.
Much of this work has been spun off into a company, deltaDOT , which is in partnerships now with pharmaceutical and biotech companies and government agencies in the EU, US and Japan. A co-founder of deltaDOT, Dr David Colling, is also in the HEP group.
A related technology in detection of analysis of air pollution is being prepared for launch in a new venture - GUSTO-systems. Many of the analysis tools for GUSTO were developed in the HEP group with PPARC, NERC and recently the award-winning EPSRC e-science 'DiscoveryNet' programme support.