Alumni Spotlight: Diego Rey, Ph.D. 2010
Diego Rey conducted his Ph.D. work in Prof. Carl Batt’s lab, where he developed novel strategies for biofunctionalization of nanomaterials and explored their potential as cancer imaging agents and therapeutics. At Cornell he benefited from a highly interdisciplinary research environment with exposure to basic research, clinical applications, and entrepreneurial activities. Rey says Prof. Batt’s diverse research programs provided his students with a uniquely enriching graduate experience and a served as a launchpad for future endeavors.
While at Cornell, Rey co-founded GeneWEAVE Biosciences, Inc., a life sciences company that develops simple-to-use and cost-effective tests for detecting bacteria. He founded the company with two other Cornellians, Leonardo Teixeira (Ph.D. 2009, Microbiology) and Jason Springs (M.B.A. 2009). Rey says the insight for starting GeneWEAVE came from his exposure to various nucleic acid detection tools and techniques, all of which suffered from stringent sample preparation requirements that limited their utility. He and his colleagues at GeneWEAVE went on to commercialize SmarticlesTM, a platform technology that enables the development of in vitro diagnostics for detecting bacteria and their antimicrobial susceptibility without the need for sample preparation.
After Cornell, Rey continued his role as GeneWEAVE’s chief technology officer as the company raised venture capital investment and grew to fifty employees. In August 2015, Roche acquired GeneWEAVE, making the company a division of Roche Molecular Diagnostics. Rey currently serves as head of research there, where he continues to develop diagnostics with the goal of reducing infections worldwide caused by multidrug-resistant organisms.