Dare to Catch Cancer

Fatima Toor


Appointment(s): Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics
Researcher, Optical Science and Technology Center
Affiliate, University of Iowa Informatics Initiative
Affiliate, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center-Experimental Therapeutics Program

College(s): Engineering and Liberal Arts & Sciences

Early cancer detection is critical for survival. While traditional biopsies are often painful and subject to error, Fatima Toor has developed a silicon-nanowire-array optoelectronic cartridge capable of detecting biological markers unique to certain forms of cancer. With Toor’s device, a simple blood test will function as a liquid biopsy calibrated to hone in on proteins produced exclusively by a specific cancer’s cells. To work toward manufacturing and marketing the device for broad distribution, Toor and collaborators at a startup, Advanced Silicon Group , recently won a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I grant and Toor also received GAP funding for initial development of the cartridge from UI Ventures. In 2016, Toor was named to the Corridor Business Journal “Forty Under 40” list, and was a finalist for The Technology Association of Iowa’s Iowa Women of Innovation Awards in the “Rising Star” category.

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