Meet our scientific advisory team
Specific ™ has been joined by some of the most distinguished clinical microbiology leaders in the world. They advise us on the application of our technology to real clinical needs and represent some of the foremost experts in both the United States and Europe.
US scientific advisory board
David Alland, MD
David Alland, MD, is Professor and Chief of Division of Infectious Diseases, Director of Center for Emerging Pathogens, and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at Rutgers University. Dr. Alland is a widely recognized expert in the detection and characterization of M. tuberculosis and its mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. His laboratory is responsible for development of the molecular beacon assay used in the Cepheid Xpert™ TB/Rif cartridge, the world’s leading molecular diagnostic for the detection and characterization of TB. This assay may be the world’s most widely utilized infectious disease molecular diagnostic, and is substantially responsible for driving the placement of what is now 10,000 Cepheid instruments worldwide. David’s laboratory has made profound contributions to medicine and humanity by developing the assay at the heart of the world’s foremost diagnostic for TB, an illness that remains one of the world’s largest causes of death, with 9.6M new cases and 1.5M deaths in 2014. He has proven capacity to drive cutting-edge research into practical, affordable diagnostic tests that have been deployed on the largest scale.
Nathan Ledeboer, PhD
Nathan Ledeboer, PhD, is Assistant Professor & Medical Director, Clinical Microbiology, Medical College of Wisconsin. Nate’s primary responsibility is for the medical and technical oversight of the Clinical Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories. Nate has delivered nearly 100 invited lectures in various medical-scientific educational forums worldwide and has served as an investigator on more than 75 funded research projects. He oversees development and implementation of new assays, oversees all testing performed and consults with physician colleagues regarding test results and selection. Nate’s research interests are development of diagnostic tools to improve patient care and hospital epidemiology. He has worked to improve methods of diagnosis for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, and partnered with colleagues at the Medical College of Wisconsin to develop an influenza A subtyping assay and characterize the Milwaukee outbreak of 2009 H1N1. Dr. Ledeboer received his B.A. Degree from Dordt College in 2000 and his Ph.D. Degree in Microbiology from the University of Iowa in 2005.
Kenneth Suslick, PhD
Professor Suslick received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 1974, his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1978, and came to the University of Illinois immediately thereafter. He has published more than 350 papers, edited four books, and holds 26 patents.
In addition to his academic research, Professor Suslick has had significant entrepreneurial experience. He was the lead consultant for Molecular Biosystems Inc. and part of the team that commercialized the first echo contrast agent for medical sonography, Albunex™, which became Optison™ by GE Healthcare. In addition, he was the founding consultant for VivoRx Pharmaceuticals and helped invent and commercialize Abraxane™, albumin microspheres with a paclitaxel core, which is the predominant current delivery system for taxol chemotherapy for breast cancer; VivoRx became Abraxis Bioscience, which was acquired by Celgene for $2.9 billion. He then co-founded ChemSensing, which began the commercialization of the Suslick group's optoelectronic nose technology and its successor, iSense Systems LLC in Mountain View, for the biomedical applications of this unique sensor technology.
EU scientific advisory board
Martin Rottman, MD, PhD
Dr. Martin Rottman is currently the Director of Medical Microbiology and Professor of Medicine at Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris Ile de France Ouest and Professor of Microbiology at the Paris-Ile de France-Ouest School of Medicine. Previously Martin was a Microbiologist at Hôpital Raymond Poincaré, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris. Martin was a Visiting Scholar at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University developing a novel diagnostic assay for sepsis and sepsis therapy. Dr. Rottman received his MD, PhD in Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology from the Université René Descartes.
Caroline Visser, MD, PhD
Caroline Visser, MD, PhD, is a clinical microbiologist, head of the Laboratory for Clinical Bacteriology at the Department of Medical Microbiology of the Academic Medical Center (AMC), University of Amsterdam, and member of the AMC Antimicrobial Stewardship committee. Caroline has been in the forefront of adoption of new diagnostic technologies. She implemented a TLA platform (BD Kiestra™) in her laboratory in 2009 and has been involved in the further development of various aspects of lab automation including the use of benchtop digital imaging technology to interact and build microbiology capacity in Vietnamese laboratories (telemicrobiology). In collaboration with Kiestra Lab Automation (now BD), she has been involved in further development and use of automation tools, such as automated colony picking and rapid susceptibility testing. Additional research and development activities include the use of electronic noses (eNose) for the detection of invasive fungal infections and the pathophysiological and diagnostic roles of the respiratory microbiome.
Hilmar Wisplinghoff, MD
Dr. Hilmar Wisplinghoff leads the Wisplinghoff Laboratory, one of the largest diagnostic services laboratories in Germany. The Wisplinghoff Laboratory offers a comprehensive analysis spectrum – from routine diagnosis on complex methods to highly specific investigations. The Wisplinghoff diagnostic services are backed by a strong team of 36 board-certified medical doctors and 20 scientists in Cologne. Hilmar’s research interest is innate and acquired antimicrobial resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii and Staphylococcus aureus. Hilmar previously was in the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, University of Cologne. He underwent his clinical training in Internal Medicine, Medical College of Virginia.
Sharon Peacock, MD
Dr. Sharon Peacock is an academic clinical microbiologist at the LSHTM, UCL and the Sanger Institute, and she is among the world's leaders in the application of WGS to clinical microbiology and epidemiology. Prior to this, she was Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Cambridge (2009-2015), and head of bacterial diseases research at the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Bangkok (2003-2009). Following medical training in Southampton, she undertook postgraduate training in general medicine in London, Brighton and Oxford (MRCP), followed by specialist training in clinical microbiology (MSc, FRCPath) and tropical diseases (DTM&H). Her PhD (Oxford and Trinity College, Dublin) was supported by a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship in Clinical Microbiology, which was followed by a Wellcome Trust Career Development Award in Clinical Tropical Medicine. Her research group focus on pathogen sequencing in relation to diagnostic and public health microbiology, antimicrobial resistance, and pathogen biology. Sharon is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology, an elected Member of EMBO, and was awarded a CBE for services to medical microbiology in 2015.