Dr. Hal Holmes, Lead Engineer at Conservation X Labs, was selected as one of five Moore Inventor Fellows (2018) by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to support his work on the DNA Barcode Scanner. He is the first Moore Inventor Fellow from a non-profit organization.
Dr. Holmes’ work focuses on a handheld, battery-powered, screening tool that enables someone without technical training to perform an automated DNA test to identify wildlife products right in the field. This invention will exploit genetic testing and technology for conservation and has the potential to monitor and prevent illegal trafficking of timber and wildlife products.
“Conservation X Labs believes that exponential technological innovations are required to solve the massive conservation challenges the planet faces,” said Dr. Alex Dehgan, CEO of Conservation X Labs. “We are proud to be the field leaders in conservation technology and are deeply honored that Dr. Hal Holmes, our Lead Engineer, was recognized by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for his groundbreaking work in the field of genetic testing for conservation.”
Dr. Holmes was also awarded an inaugural Schmidt Science Fellowship (2018) to drive the development of a new DNA extraction platform to address difficult sample types at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. To learn more about his contributions through the Schmidt Science Fellows program, see their press release and website. Learn more about Dr. Holmes and his work in his own words below.
Moore Inventor Fellows supports early-career scientist-inventors working on innovative projects with the potential to bring about significant change. Since its inception in 2016, Moore Inventor Fellows has supported early-career scientist-inventors at a critical stage of research, by giving them the resources and freedom to test their ideas. This year, to diversify the applicant portfolio, nominees were sought from select research institutions in addition to universities.
Each fellow receives a total of $825,000 over three years to drive their invention forward, including $50,000 per year from their home institution. Starting with five fellows in 2016 and five more in 2017, the foundation plans to allocate nearly $34 million through 2026 to support 50 Moore Inventor Fellows.
For more information about the Moore Inventor Fellows program, see their website and press release here.
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