Creating miniature biosensors for better health insights
Nako Nakatsuka was raised in Tokyo, Japan and moved to the United States to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York. She then moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her Ph.D. at UCLA and worked in the labs of Professors Anne Andrews and Paul Weiss. In her Ph.D., she designed and developed DNA aptamer-based electronic biosensors for small-molecule sensing in complex environments. In 2018, Nako received the ETH Zürich postdoctoral fellowship and joined the Laboratory of Biosensors and Bioelectronics led by Professor Janos Vörös. Currently, as a senior scientist at ETH, her research is focused on interfacing miniature DNA-based biosensors that can detect neurochemicals at biological interfaces such as live brain cells. This innovation led her to be named a pioneer on MIT Technology Review's list of Innovators Under 35 in 2021.