Professor Heller's experience includes many areas of biotechnology, with particular expertise in DNA molecular diagnostics and fluorescent/optoelectronic based detection technologies. Heller's most recent work involved the development of integrated DNA chip devices and systems for genomic and biomedical research and clinical diagnostic applications. He has also been involved in the development of biosensor systems for the detection of infectious agents related to national response to bioterroism. Heller served on the White House National Nanotechnology Initiative panel in 1999/2000, and is presently serving on the NAS National Nanotechnology Initiative Review panel. His current research interests include the development of high performance bioanalytical techniques and technologies for genomic, proteomic and phamacogenomic applications. This includes novel devices (DNA array/lLab-on-a-Chip) and systems for mutation scanning, ultra-fast DNA sequencing, single molecule detection, and combinatorial selection processes. His nanotechnology research involves the development of bio-molecular based mechanisms for photonic/electronic energy transfer, chemical to mechanical energy conversions, and DNA based self-organizing nanostructures for data storage and computation. He also works on developing nanofabrication processes for the assembly of highly integrated macroscopic 2D and 3D structures from molecular and nanoscale components.
Michael Heller joined the Jacobs School in 2001. Previously, he was the co-founder and chief technology officer of Nanogen, Inc., (NGEN), located in San Diego, and the principal inventor of Nanogen's microelectronic-based DNA chip technology. He presently serves as a consultant to Nanogen. Previously, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer at Integrated DNA Technologies, Director of Molecular Biology at Molecular Biosystems, and supervised the DNA Technology Group at Amoco Corporation. Heller received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Colorado State University in 1973.