Bernhard H. Weigl, PhD
Dr. Weigl serves as principal investigator for the GHDx Center, leading research and administration and overseeing the multidisciplinary teams that manage each of the GHDx Center’s core activities.
Dr. Weigl is also a program advisor to the PATH diagnostics development teams and an expert in the development of microfluidic and other diagnostic devices, especially applied to the detection of infectious diseases. At PATH, he works closely with laboratory scientists and external partners to evaluate needs for point-of-care diagnostics, identify and select suitable technologies to meet those needs, develop plans for funding, oversee clinical studies and exploratory projects, disseminate information, and report to NIH.
Dr. Weigl came to PATH from a Seattle-based small business enterprise called MicroPlumbers Microsciences, where he was senior partner and principal scientist. Prior to that, he worked in various capacities with Micronics, Inc., where he was a founding member of the research and development team. In addition, Dr. Weigl keeps close ties with the University of Washington, where he is an affiliate associate professor at the Department of Bioengineering. Dr. Weigl earned his MSc and PhD from Karl Franzens University, Graz, Austria. He is widely published and has many patents to his credit.
Tala de los Santos, MBA, MS
Clinical Needs Assessment
Ms. de los Santos leads the clinical needs assessment and information dissemination activities of the Center. She brings her background both as a scientist and business specialist and her experience as a product manager of medical devices for biotechnology companies. Working with public health specialists and clinicians, she conducts assessments of unmet needs for diagnostics in typical low-resource settings and disseminates this information through websites, conference presentations, and targeted communications.
At PATH, Ms. de los Santos has been leading the user needs assessments in India and Brazil under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Project. She has also been conducting assessments on user and policymaker perspectives on a new screening tool for cervical cancer, also funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Before coming to PATH, Ms. de los Santos managed the marketing and product development of nucleic acid-based detection systems used at Applied Biosystems in Foster City, CA. She has also worked as a business and sales development manager for Bioheart, Inc., in developing scientific alliances and corporate partnerships. Ms. de los Santos received a BA in biological sciences from Mount Holyoke College, an MS in human genetics from Stanford University, and an MBA from Seattle University.
Gonzalo Domingo, PhD
Dr. Domingo leads the identification and evaluation of promising technologies that may be funded as exploratory projects. He leads the PATH laboratory activities when needed and oversees collaborations with external parties for selected projects. He also identifies opportunities to develop the projects in order to best meet the Center’s goals.
Dr. Domingo trained as a physical biochemist and later applied this knowledge to research on the molecular pathogenesis of infectious diseases afflicting developing countries. Dr. Domingo currently leads the PATH subcontract under a Grand Challenges Project (funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Dr. Paul Yager of the UW) to develop a multiplexed, microfluidics-based diagnostic for febrile illnesses.
Prior to joining PATH, Dr. Domingo was a scientific researcher at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (SBRI) where he managed a clinical research laboratory in Tanzania for two years. His previous experience includes supervision of a clinical laboratory and teaching a molecular biology and biochemistry course for undergraduates. Dr. Domingo possesses a PhD in biological chemistry as well as an MSc in biotechnology, both from the University of London.
Roger B. Peck, BS
Mr. Peck, under the direction of Drs. Domingo and Weigl, coordinates and implements all PATH laboratory activities in the optimization and validation of the candidate diagnostic prototypes. Mr. Peck has more than 11 years of experience in research and development of rapid point-of care devices for sexually transmitted infections and numerous other diseases, including work in the private sector. He also has experience in setting up field sites for the collection of samples for the clinical evaluation of point-of-care tests. His prior industry experience with research and development design control, current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), and good laboratory practices (GLP) are especially applicable to his work in the GHDx Center.
Mr. Peck has also been responsible for managing the technology transfer of several rapid diagnostic tests to developing-country manufacturers. This perspective and expertise will be tapped in training sessions designed to share the realities of low-resource settings with technology developers.
Before joining PATH, he participated in product design and development at OraSure Technologies and researched rapid immunochemical diagnostics for infectious diseases at Saliva Diagnostic Systems. Roger holds a BS in microbiology from Washington State University.
Pat Totten, PhD
Research Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Adjunct Research Associate Professor, Department of Pathobiology
University of Washington
Dr. Totten is the co-director of the training activities of the GHDx Center, an activity clearly suited to her 30 years of experience in the development, implementation, and teaching of diagnostic tests for infectious diseases and the organisms that cause them.
With a primary appointment as a research associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and an adjunct appointment in Global Health, Dr. Totten’s current research focuses on the pathogenesis, epidemiology, and diagnostics of sexually transmitted infections (STI). She has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles and four book chapters based on her research and has established many collaborations with clinicians, epidemiologists, biostaticians, and microbiologists studying infectious diseases at the University of Washington. These researchers, with their expertise in the various STIs, HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, along with team at PATH and in laboratory medicine, will be key speakers and trainers for the point-of-care training course. Currently, Dr. Totten serves as an expert reviewer and principal investigator of the WHO-funded STI diagnostic website, which serves to evaluate and disseminate information on current laboratory tests (including rapid tests for diagnostics) for STIs.
Dr. Totten has been a practitioner and researcher in laboratory diagnostics since 1972, when she received her Medical Technology degree, and subsequently earned her PhD in 1990. She has directed a clinical microbiology laboratory, has developed several novel diagnostic tests, including point-of-care diagnostics (e.g., Amsell’s criteria for bacterial vaginosis), the first use of DNA probes to detect STI organisms directly in patient specimens (i.e. N. gonorrhoeae in urethra specimens, 1983), and the detection of novel causes of STIs using rDNA PCR technology. She has a broad base in understanding of the needs of diagnostics in developing countries, having taught courses in STI diagnostics in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (1995), Lima, Peru (1996, 1997), and Botswana, Africa (2001). Her enthusiasm for research, development, and training for developing countries is reflected in her ongoing research and training projects with collaborators within the UW and in Peru and Kenya.