Healthcare

Our technology enables early, accurate, point-of-care detection of viruses, bacteria, and other threats to human health.

Agriculture

We enable low cost, on-site, rapid identification of threats to crops, helping protect the world's food supply.

Environment

We can help protect against threats to the environment through early identification of pathogens in the field.

Technology

Our technology platform is based on solid-state nanopores, nano-scale holes formed into silicon microchips.  Particles passing through these pores generate measurable electrical events.

By detecting biomarkers unique to the DNA or RNA of a target pathogen, we can determine not only its presence, but also its quantity within a fluid sample using the electronic nanopore signal. This is critical for optimal response planning, as well as monitoring of disease progression and treatment efficacy.

We are incorporating this technology into a portable handheld diagnostic device.  The device will enable rapid, point-of-need, low cost, accurate, sensitive, quantifiable detection of the targeted pathogen.

Leadership

Adam Hall

Adam Hall

Chief Scientific Officer
Adam Hall received his training in physics and materials sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he performed research under  Sean Washburn on nanoelectomechanical systems incorporating individual nanomaterials  He then spent the next three years as a postdoctoral researcher at Technische Universitat Delft in the Netherlands, where he performed experiments on solid-state nanopores in the lab of Cees Dekker. From 2010-13, he was an Assistant Professor of Nanoscience at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in Greensboro, NC, where he earned awards for both his research activities and teaching. He joined the faculty of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences in August of 2013 as an Assistant Professor in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Outside of the lab, Adam enjoys finding new music, reading, illustration, and spending time with his wife and two children.

Adam’s academic lab web site is at http://www.thehalllab.org/
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Hal Eason

Hal Eason

Chief Executive Officer

Hal Eason is a serial entrepreneur based in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He previously founded and led Plureon Corporation, a cell therapeutics company based on a technology developed at Children’s Hospital Boston.  Prior to founding Plureon, he served as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company.  He currently serves of the Board of Directors of early stage companies Rabbu, Inc. and Vertigo Media, Inc.

Hal received an MBA with High Distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School.  He also holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from Vanderbilt University.

Todd Johnson

Todd Johnson

Chairman

Todd is a Vice President with Wake Forest University focused on the start-up of new entrepreneurial initiatives for the University.  He most recently was the founder and served as the managing partner of KeraNetics, an early stage life sciences company that spun out of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

He has spent the past 25 years in the healthcare field in various roles with early stage companies, including having founded and served as CEO of HealthTech Corp., a cardiovascular services company that merged with MedCath and went public in 1995, and was acquired by Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts in 1998.  Todd serves on the Board of Directors of N2 Medical Solutions (medication adherence company), ClubUp (golf technology company) and Sneez (healthcare data analytics company).

Alexis Gabard

Alexis Gabard

Grant Specialist

Alexis has a Masters in Counselor Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Masters in Business Administration from the Wake Forest University School of Business.  She has experience in the development of psychophysiological interventions, biotechnology, and information technology.  She has managed projects with over $17M in funding from National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD), Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA).  She has also contributed to implementation of key initiatives in small businesses, including Quality Management Systems, product development lifecycle management, training and professional development, and Lean management systems.

Alexis consults with Foenestra through her grant advisory firm Technical Projects Solutions.

John W. Sanders III

John W. Sanders III

Scientific Advisory Board

John W. Sanders received a Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and a Master in Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Doctorate of Medicine from Tulane University.  He completed an Internal Medicine residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia and served as a general internist at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station.  He then completed an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC), Bethesda, Maryland and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.  Subsequently,  he served tours at the Naval Medical Research Unit #3 (NAMRU-3) in Cairo, Egypt, as the Head of Infectious Diseases at NNMC, and as the Commanding Officer of NAMRU-6 in Lima, Peru.

He has been active in medical education at all levels, providing clinical and research mentorship for students, residents, and fellows.  He was key clinical faculty for the NNMC Internal Medicine residency, the Deputy Director of the Infectious Disease fellowship, field site director for the military tropical medicine course, and received the NNMC Teacher of the Year award for 2000-01. An accomplished researcher, he has published over 70 articles and 10 book chapters and is recognized as an authority in enteric diseases and infections of military relevance.  He is a Section Editor of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, on the Editorial Board of Tropical Diseases, Travel Medicine, and Vaccines, and  has served as an invited reviewer for several journals, including Clinical Infectious Diseases and the Annals of Internal Medicine. He holds faculty appointments at the USUHS School of Medicine and the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

He retired from the U.S. Navy as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Medical Research Center in the summer of 2015 and joined the faculty of Wake Forest University School of Medicine as Professor of Medicine with joint appointments in Global Health and Regenerative Medicine.  He serves as the Chief of the Sections on Infectious Diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the Hefner Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

A list of Dr. Sanders’ publications is available at http://profiles.wakehealth.edu/display/Person/jwsander.

Christopher Ohl

Christopher Ohl

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Ohl is an infectious disease specialist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  He received his medical degree from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.  He cares for patients with infections that are difficult to diagnose and treat, and can be life-threatening.  His research interests involve developing clinical tools and using rapid diagnostics to improve the use of antimicrobials.

navigate here Selected Publications

  • blog link Antimicrobial Stewardship Training for Infectious Diseases Fellows: Program Directors Identify a Curriculum Need.. Luther VP, Shnekendorf R, Abbo LM, Advani S, Armstrong WS, Barsoumian AE, Beeler CB, Bystritsky R, Cherabuddi K, Cohen S, Hamilton KW, Ince D, Justo JA, Logan A, Lynch JB, Nori P, Ohl CA, Patel PK, Pottinger PS, Schwartz BS, Stack C, Zhou Y. Clin. Infect. Dis. 2018 Sep; 67(8):1285-1287.
  • Extended infusion compared to standard infusion cefepime as empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia.. Wrenn RH, Cluck D, Kennedy L, Ohl C, Williamson JC. J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2018 Apr; 24(3):170-175.
  • Frequency of empiric antibiotic de-escalation in an acute care hospital with an established Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.. Liu P, Ohl C, Johnson J, Williamson J, Beardsley J, Luther V. BMC Infect. Dis. 2016 Dec; 16(1):751.
  • Executive Summary: Implementing an Antibiotic Stewardship Program: Guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.. Barlam TF, Cosgrove SE, Abbo LM, MacDougall C, Schuetz AN, Septimus EJ, Srinivasan A, Dellit TH, Falck-Ytter YT, Fishman NO, Hamilton CW, Jenkins TC, Lipsett PA, Malani PN, May LS, Moran GJ, Neuhauser MM, Newland JG, Ohl CA, Samore MH, Seo SK, Trivedi KK. Clin. Infect. Dis. 2016 05; 62(10):1197-1202.
  • Implementing an Antibiotic Stewardship Program: Guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.. Barlam TF, Cosgrove SE, Abbo LM, MacDougall C, Schuetz AN, Septimus EJ, Srinivasan A, Dellit TH, Falck-Ytter YT, Fishman NO, Hamilton CW, Jenkins TC, Lipsett PA, Malani PN, May LS, Moran GJ, Neuhauser MM, Newland JG, Ohl CA, Samore MH, Seo SK, Trivedi KK. Clin. Infect. Dis. 2016 05; 6

A comprehensive list of Dr. Ohl’s publications is available at http://profiles.wakehealth.edu/display/Person/cohl

Selected Publications

"Selective detection and quantification of modified DNA with solid-state nanopores", A. T. Carlsen, O. K. Zahid, J. A. Ruzicka, E. W. Taylor, A. R. Hall, Nano Letters, 14 (10), 5488-92, 2014 (cover article)

"Sequence-specific recognition of microRNAs and other short nucleic acids with solid-state nanopores", O. K. Zahid, F. Wang, J. A. Ruzicka, E. W. Taylor, A. R. Hall, Nano Letters, 16 (3), 2033–2039, 2016

"Solid-state nanopore analysis of diverse DNA base modifications using a modular enzymatic labeling process", F. Wang, O. K. Zahid, B. Swain, D. Parsonage, T. Hollis, S. Harvey, F. Perrino, R. M. Kohli, E. W. Taylor, A. R. Hall, Nano Letters, 17 (11), 7110–7116, 2017

"Label-free analysis of physiological hyaluronan size distribution with a solid-state nanopore sensor", F. Rivas, O. K. Zahid, H. L. Reesink, B. T. Peal, A. J. Nixon, P. L. DeAngelis, A. Skardal, E. Rahbar, and A. R. Hall, Nature Communications, 9, 1037, 2018

The full list of publications from Dr. Hall's lab is available here.

Contact Us

  • 500 West 5th Street
    Suite 400
    Winston-Salem, NC 27101