Govind Kaigala  Govind Kaigala photo       

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Research Staff Member
IBM Research Laboratory - Zurich, Rueschlikon, Switzerland
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| microfluidics & lab-on-a-chip | scanning probes | biological interfaces | molecular diagnostics | personalized medicine |


Current activities: Govind Kaigala is currently a Research Staff Member in the Science & Technology department of IBM Research–Zurich. His activities are aligned within Precision Diagnostics where he leads activities on a liquid scanning probe technology — Microfluidic probe (MFP) — and is championing new concepts and thinking on:

  • microfluidics in the “open” space
  • tissue microprocessing

These ideas have led to new ways to interact with tissue & cellular constructs, and resulted in a new class of molecular methods: micro-immunohistochemistry (μIHC) and micro-fluorescent in situ hybridization (μFISH), and Spatialyse.

These molecular methods leverage the unique physics of fluidics, and chemistry at the micrometer length-scales. Such compartmentalization, spatio-temporal analysis, and eletrokinetic concentration/separation methodologies are now being applied to query heterogeneity, alter microenvironments, and in bio-patterning.

Selected current projects as PI:
EU ERC Project — BioProbe  SystemsX.ch Project — ufluidx  EU ITN Project — Virtual Vials
EU ERC PoC Project – BioProbe-PIT


Research interests & brief bio: He is interested in applying and leveraging micro/nano-technologies to realize new analytical tools and assays for chemical & biomolecule analysis. These topics also encompass certain aspects of Nano-biotechnology. Some of the microfluidic approaches he is highly interested are hydrodynamics, eletrokinetics and compartmentalization.

He is passionate about personalized medicine, quantitative biology and translational clinical/medical research.

He has authored and co-authored 43 journal publications, 4 book chapters, a book (in production), 60+ conference proceedings/abstract, and 23+ patents.

He is the recipient of several IBM awards, including an Research Division Accomplishment Award (2014), Horizon Alumni Award from the University of Alberta, Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC) PGS & PDF, a J.N. Tata Endowment Fellow and is a Senior Member of IEEE.

In addition to IBM and other industrial engagements, his work is supported by the European Research Council (ERC), the European Union and SystemsX.ch - Swiss National Science Foundation.


Prior to joining IBM: He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Microfluidics Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University and at the Stanford Medical School, USA. He received both his Ph.D and M.Eng from the University of Alberta, Canada for work done in the Depts. of Electrical Engineering and Experimental Oncology (Cross Cancer Institute). Prior to his doctoral studies, he was as a hardware design engineer working on the design of fault tolerant optical communication networks.