Full Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Dr. Huw Summers is a professor in nanotechnology for health in the College of Engineering at Swansea University in Wales. Dr. Summers has extensive experience in metrologies for cell analysis and the development of nanoparticle-based diagnostics and therapeutics. He has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals including Applied Physics Letters and Nature Nanotechnology and is supported by several European Union research grants.
As an Full Affiliate Member of Houston Methodist Research Institute, Dr. Summers collaborates with the nanomedicine department to develop physics and engineering approaches for cell analysis. Dr. Summers is also a mentor for the formal joint graduate training program between the Houston Methodist Academy and Swansea University.
In the field of nanomedicine, Dr. Summers’ group is one of only a handful, developing quantitative, statistical assays for the assessment of nanoparticle dose in proliferating cell populations. Dr. Summers’ research focuses on two areas: metrologies for cell analysis (cytometry) and the development of nanoparticle-based diagnostics and therapeutics (nanomedicine).
The goal of this work is to apply physics and engineering approaches to cell population analysis, e.g. systems analysis of cell cycle progression or statistical mechanics on nanoparticle-cell interactions. Computational and statistical analyses are applied to large cell populations (>106) with the enabling technology being high throughput, high content cytometry (microscope and flow system based) and the core aim to understand and quantify cell heterogeneity.
His research program exploits the customizability of micro and nano-engineered structures to provide novel optical analysis and manipulation of living cells. For example, using fluorescent nanocrystals (quantum dots) as intra-cellular markers cell populations allows tracking over multiple generations of cell division, and the evolution of different lineages can then be analyzed by their unique spectral signatures.