David Kelso

Kelso is a clinical professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering as well as co-founder, president, and CEO of Minute Molecular Diagnostics.  Dr. Kelso has been involved in assay system development for more than 25 years.  In 2006, Dr. Kelso’s Center for Innovation in Global Health Technologies was selected as one of the 43 recipients of the Grand Challenges in Global Health grants awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 2019, Minute Molecular Diagnostics in collaboration with Northwestern University received a large grant from the National Institutes of Health for its highly sensitive, easy-to-use test for COVID-19 called DASH (Diagnostic Analyzer for Specific Hybridization).  Although researchers initially designed DASH to help address the coronavirus pandemic, the technology also can be used to detect many viral and bacterial agents.  Currently, the DASH technology is being used to develop a monkeypox PCR test.

Before joining the faculty at Northwestern, Dr. Kelso developed a number of medical devices for the healthcare industry.  He was Chief Scientist at Baxter Healthcare’s Pandex Division from 1986 to 1992 and directed the team of engineers and scientists which developed a high-throughput, multi-channel blood screening system which detected HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases.

In 1981, Professor Kelso founded Pandex Laboratories and served as its president until 1986 when it was acquired by Baxter.  The company developed, manufactured and sold analytical systems for biomedical research which included instruments and reagents for performing fluorescence immunoassays, cellular analysis and other research procedures.

Prior to his biotech venture, Professor Kelso was a cofounder of an intrapreneurial group at Abbott Laboratories which developed the TDx system and created the company’s therapeutic drug monitoring business.  At Abbott, he also developed the first microprocessor-controlled enzyme immunoassay analyzer, Quantum, leading the industry away from radioactive assays.

As a result of Dr. Kelso’s decades of biomedical research, new and improved diagnostic techniques and medical devices have impacted world-wide health.