Greg Holst

Department: George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Graduate Program: BioEngineering

Advisor: Craig Forest, PhD

Lab Website

Research Summary:

We are developing a reverse transcription, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) system to measure phenotype changes in stem cells in real time. The goal is to monitor changes in stem cell cultures over time to study spontaneous differentiation, interactions between transiently expressed genes, and bioreactor process control. It uses an IR laser to heat the PCR cocktail to the correct temperatures and real-time data can be obtained in less than 1hr using a 1μL reaction volume which significantly reduces the cost and time compared to conventional PCR equipment. This makes stem cell bioreactor monitoring and transient gene analysis feasible.

Patch clamping is the gold standard for recording ionic currents in single cells and is considered an experimental art form.  We replace some of the highly skilled steps in patch clamping with robots to increase speed, yield, and quality of the recordings.  


I received my undergraduate and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University in 2009 and 2011 respectively and am currently a bioengineering student at Georgia Tech.  I have published three academic papers on modeling and design of compliant mechanisms on the design of underwater microactuators for BioMEMS applications. I was awarded 2nd place (2010) and 1st place (2011) in the Micro and Nano Systems Student Photo Contest at the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference. 


In 2011, I was appointed to the IGERT Stem Cell Traineeship at Georgia Tech and with a research focus on high-speed, low cost, stem cell phenotype sensing.  We currently have one journal article accepted on open-loop control of laser powered RT-qPCR system. My advisor is Dr. Craig Forest in the Precision Biosystem Laboratory (PBL).  My current research interests include Micro-Bioprocessing Devices, MEMS, Computer-Aided Engineering & Programming, Optimization, Compliant Mechanisms, Robust Design Methods, and Process Control Systems and Instrumentation.

Related News
Rapid, quantitative, reverse transcription PCR in a polymer microfluidic chip
Related Publications
Rapid, quantitative, reverse transcription PCR in a polymer microfluidic chip Biosensors and Bioelectronics Curtis Saunders D, Holst GL, Phaneuf CR, Pak N, Marchese M, Sondej N, McKinnon M, Forest CR