Seraph Welcomes Dr. Hür Köser!
Dr. Hür Köser, an accomplished academic researcher and technical entrepreneur, joined Seraph’s management team as Chief Product and Technology Officer this past month. As an electrical engineering professor at Yale University, Dr. Köser conducted internationally recognized research in Nano-biotechnology, microsystems, bio-sensors and microfluidics. He has used this theoretical foundation to successfully commercialize diagnostic technologies as a co-founder and technical team leader over the past 17 years.
Dr. Köser has always had an entrepreneurial passion for applying scientific knowledge and engineering principles to real world problems. As an undergraduate at MIT in the 1990s, he wanted to create a human brain-machine interface that used signal processing from Electroencephalography (EEG) testing to analyze brain waves for different motor functions. This technology would allow people with limited mobility to perform everyday tasks such as driving a wheelchair without using their hands. It was during this time that Dr. Köser learned the importance of entrepreneurial perseverance and resourcefulness. “It took me a while to convince any professor that this wasn’t science fiction,” said Dr. Köser. “Once I did get a faculty advisor, I had to source an EEG machine, write the software, submit the IRB, get IRB approval, and recruit willing participants to test the technology”. After two-and-a-half years of working on the project, he discovered that the application was limited by the computational power available at the time. Several years later as computational power increased, however, machine learning algorithms were successfully developed to analyze signals from both EEG and embedded electrodes for such applications, proving his initial hypothesis.
After receiving his PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT, Dr. Köser wanted to use his academic research to commercialize engineering technologies. While studying diagnostic applications of ferrofluids at Yale, he co-founded his first company, Ancera, with a colleague from the business school. Ancera’s flagship technology, MagDrive, was a cell-manipulation platform that used ferrofluids to rapidly identify the presence of specific bacteria in complex cellular environments for food safety testing. “Ancera was my first foray into commercial diagnostics,” said Dr. Köser. “However, most of my existing biological research to that point had implications for diagnostics, cell manipulation, and cell preparation”. He would go on to serve as CTO for Ancera and several other diagnostic companies with commercial applications ranging from neurodegenerative disease biomarkers to liquid biopsy analysis.
Dr. Köser first encountered Seraph as a RADx Team Lead during the company’s participation in the program. As a physicist and engineer, he was enthralled by the novelty of the Seraspec® platform. “The Seraspec® platform is unique in that it doesn’t require biological reagents — instead, it uses fundamental physics principles to generate a biologically relevant signal — it’s fascinating.” said Dr. Köser. As a reagentless platform, Seraspec® avoids many of the cost, quality assurance, supply chain, and performance issues that traditional assays using reagents tend to encounter. He also sees a lot of parallels between Seraspec’s technology and his own EEG project as an undergraduate. “Seraph’s challenge of identifying signals from human biological samples with interference is very similar to identifying signals from brainwaves using EEG electrodes,” said Dr. Köser. “I’m very excited to use my experience in signal processing and human diagnostics to add value in that regard as well”. Welcome, Dr. Köser!