تحت رعاية سموّ الشيخ خالد بن محمد بن زايد آل نهيان، ولي عهد أبوظبي رئيس المجلس التنفيذي لإمارة أبوظبي
Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council
Dr. Alison Todd’s Inventions May Save Your Life
An inventor, molecular biologist, and diagnostic scientist, Dr. Todd cofounded SpeeDx, which serves communities worldwide. And that’s just the beginning.
Dr. Alison Todd describes herself as an “inventor at heart,” but she’s not the sort of inventor who tinkers with gears in a workshop. Instead, she invents new tools in medical diagnostics, developing better ways to identify gene sequences and how they impact disease. Rather than screwdrivers and hammers, her instruments are the building blocks of life itself: human DNA.
“We develop tests that help guide clinicians toward the best therapies that have the best outcomes,” she explains. “I have a huge job, but the bit I’m passionate about is the inventing.”
As an inventor on 20 patent families that include more than 160 granted patents and another 87 pending, she’s more than just a little good at what she does. These patents include technologies that detect and quantify genetic sequences, and which have a wide range of applications, including diagnosing diseases. She’s not just an inventor and patent holder, either. Todd lives and works in New South Wales, Australia, and received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in 2022. She was also invested as a Member of the Order of Australia this year, and was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2019.
How did she get into this field in the first place? It all started when Dr. Todd was an undergraduate studying science. She says she pursued science not because of some driving ambition, but because it came easy to her. The ambition part would come soon enough, though; she discovered molecular biology during an internship, and right away, she could see the potential.
“I was immediately convinced that understanding the genome would revolutionize medical practice both for diagnostic and therapeutic applications,” Dr. Todd says. “From then on, I was totally hooked.”