Wyss Technology Development Fellow Dan Huh, Ph.D., was honored with the 2012 Innovation Award from the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) for his work developing a living, breathing human lung-on-a-chip and for its potential for drug screening and nanotoxicology applications. The prestigious $10,000 prize was announced in February during the second annual SLAS Conference and Exhibition in San Diego. As the winner, Dr. Huh was invited to give his presentation at the 2012 SLAS Asia Conference in Shanghai, China, which he did in June 2012.
Huh’s winning presentation showcased the lung-on-a-chip technology that he co-developed with Wyss Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D. A flexible microchip about the size of a computer memory stick, the organ mimic recapitulates human lung responses to infection, inflammation, and environmental toxins. Huh outlined its exciting potential as an alternative to animal testing models to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new drug candidates and to assess the toxicity of nanomaterials.
The SLAS conference, which focused on advances in drug and life sciences R&D, drew some 5800 scientists, engineers, researchers, and technologists from around the world. SLAS is a global organization that exists to provide forums for education and information exchange to improve the science and practice of laboratory automation and screening.