Q&A with Annual Celebration 2024 Awardees: David Myers, PhD

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David Myers, PhD, is one of three team members to receive the 2023 Innovation of the Year award. The technology, A Bio-Inspired Skin Interface Method for Continuous Access to Blood for Measurement and Therapy, is a wearable, continuous blood collection device that can monitor blood-based biomarkers with reduced risk of blood clots.

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m David Myers. I’m an assistant professor in biomedical engineering. I studied mechanical engineering for my PhD, and then trained in hematology for my postdoc.

What initially drew you to your field?

I love seeing things move and how stuff works.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the technology you received the award for?

Black and white photo of David Myers

David Myers, PhD

Physicians would love to have the ability to take continuous measurements of blood. But the biggest challenge is that as soon as you get access to blood, your body immediately starts clotting, and then you can’t take measurements after enough time. That is the main barrier that keeps you from being able to take continuous blood measurements.

There was always this kind of open question: Is there a way to get access to blood for a longer period in a way that’s safe for patients? What’s interesting is that we were inspired by the hematophagous organisms, or organisms that feed on blood. What’s interesting about them is that they have all found a way to get access to blood for a longer period of time, all with a minor effect on their host.

And so that was the idea. Can we mimic the effects of these organisms and copy them to get access to blood for a long period of time? And if we do, can we take measurements continuously? And if we can take measurements continuously, can we — in real-time — see how a patient is doing and maybe treat them earlier, when [conditions are] easier to correct?

What are some next steps for this technology?

Right now, we really want to validate that it works. We’re moving into human testing. We’re developing sensors and arrays of sensors and characterizing how long it can work for, and seeing if we can just keep making it better.

What does this award mean for your lab or your family?

I was deeply honored and humbled by it. Being at Emory, I’m surrounded by absolutely brilliant people with amazing ideas. I was very humbled that this was the idea that won. I still haven’t quite come to terms with it.

Though, probably the biggest impact is on the team working on the project. This award really provides us with a lot of encouragement on the next steps.

If there was one word that you would use to describe all of your emotions, what would it be?


Join us for Emory OTT’s 18th Annual Celebration of Technology and Innovation on Thursday, March 21! RSVP here.

– Angela Chan