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Vadim Backman

Dr. Vadim Backman, Director

Vadim Backman is the Sachs Family Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medicine at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Professor of Medicine (Oncology), Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and Program Leader in Cancer and Physical Sciences and Associate Director for Research Infrastructure and Technology at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.

With a background in physics and medical engineering, Backman developed a suite of groundbreaking imaging and nano-sensing technologies that have resulted in a new ability to understand human biology at the nanoscale, and has teamed with a network of collaborators across engineering, biology, genomics, and medicine with the goal of turning these new insights into novel, highly effective diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients.

Through his novel nanocytology technique, he developed a simple, easy-to-use test for diagnosing multiple forms of cancer at the earliest stage of disease formation. He is the cofounder of NanoCytomics, which is currently working to commercialize this technology.

Backman’s ongoing work is focused on physical genomics, studying the relationship between the nanoscale structure of the genome and global patterns of gene expression, which could have widespread impact in treating diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and in regenerative therapies for stroke and heart attacks.

He received an MS in Physics from MIT and a PhD in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics from Harvard University and MIT.

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