Carl Wittwer is a Professor of Pathology at the University of Utah Medical School and adjunct professor of BioMedical Engineering at the University of Utah. He received a Ph.D. from Utah State University, a M.D. from the University of Michigan.
He has published more than 200 research articles and book chapters focusing on technique and instrument development in molecular diagnostics. In the early 1990s he developed rapid-cycle PCR techniques for DNA amplification in 10-15 min. In the mid-1990s, he adapted flow cytometry optics to thermal cycling for real-time monitoring of PCR. He introduced SYBR Green I, fluorescent hybridization probes, melting analysis, and high-resolution melting (HRM) to real-time PCR, techniques that are widely used today. He has been on the Clinical Chemistry Board of Editors since 2000 and an Associate Editor since 2002. Recently, his research has modified the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for efficient amplification in less than 1 minute, opening up new possibilities for immediate nucleic acid diagnostics. Academic recognition includes the AACC award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in 2004, the IFCC Award for Significant Contributions to Molecular Diagnostics in 2005, the AMP Award for Excellence in Molecular Diagnostics in 2008, the University of Utah Award for Impact and Innovation in 2011, the AACC Edwin F. Ullman Award in 2013.
In 1990, Dr. Wittwer co-founded BioFire Diagnostics, a company that has grown to over 1,200 people today. He served as Chairman of the Board from 2012 until its acquisition by BioMerieux in 2014. He was the primary inventor of the LightCycler® system, with over 10,000 units placed worldwide by Roche. Dr. Wittwer holds 35 US patents and their foreign equivalents. Business recognition includes small business innovation awards in 1999 and 2002, the State of Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology in 2003 and Utah “Pioneer” and “Genius” awards in 2015.