Dr Melpomeni (Melina) Kalofonou received the MEng degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2007 from the University of Patras, Greece followed by an MSc in Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Bioengineering in 2009 and a PhD from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2013 as part of the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology, Imperial College London. Her PhD research focused on the application of semiconductor technology for the detection of cancer biomarkers using microchip based chemical sensors (Ion-Sensitive Field-Effect Transistors, ISFETs) integrated with current-mode circuits as part of Lab-on-Chip systems. Her work led to the demonstration of the first proof-of-concept method using ISFETs for real-time amplification and detection of DNA methylation, an epigenetic biomarker contributing significantly in the development and progression of cancer. She continued on to become a Postdoctoral Researcher and lead the Cancer Technology initiative within the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology (CBIT) in 2016, starting a new research theme on the development of Lab-on-Chip systems for detection and computation of cancer-specific genetic and epigenetic markers. In 2018 she led a multidisciplinary team between Electrical Engineering and Medicine which was successful in the Department's first CRUK Multidisciplinary Award.
Dr Kalofonou is a Research Fellow in Cancer Technology and her current research focuses on ‘liquid-biopsy’ based cancer diagnostics through the combination of isothermal chemistries and pH-sensitive microchip based systems, which can enable the detection of cancer specific hotspot mutations in the tumour derived fraction of circulating-free DNA in blood, linked to tumour progression and resistance to treatment. Her research expands into other cancer types, such as colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer, towards the development of quantitative and Lab-on-Chip compatible methods for the detection of genetic and epigenetic markers, as well as algorithms and computational models for prediction of drug resistance in cancer.
Continuing her role as the Cancer Technology Lead in CBIT, Dr Kalofonou is representing the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre and the CRUK Convergence Science Centre. She is a member of the IEEE, IEEE-CAS, EMBS, IET and ESMO and serves on the Biomedical Circuits and Systems Technical Committee (BioCAS TC) of the IEEE CAS society, promoting the application of biomedical engineering research in cancer diagnostics and precision in treatment. She is also an advocate for Women in Engineering, promoting the EEE profession in schools, outreach events and industry.
#ThisIsEngineering 2019: Meet our Department's Engineers, Profile Highlight
"Lab on a Chip: Early Detection of Breast Cancer Recurrence" - our research highlighted as case study at the CRUK | Imperial Centre
Imperial Electrical Engineers advancing cancer diagnostics
Meeting the challenge of treating cancer in low and middle income countries
For more news please follow my twitter @melkalofonou
et al., 2023, Classification of nucleic acid amplification on ISFET arrays using spectrogram-based neural networks., Comput Biol Med, Vol:161
et al., 2022, Detection of YAP1 and AR-V7 mRNA for prostate cancer prognosis using an ISFET lab-on-chip platform, Acs Sensors, Vol:7, ISSN:2379-3694, Pages:3389-3398
et al., 2022, Lab-on-Chip assay of tumour markers and Human Papilloma Virus for cervical cancer detection at the point-of-care, Scientific Reports, Vol:12, ISSN:2045-2322
et al., 2022, A comparison between Mini-loop mediated isothermal amplification and polymerase spiral reaction for selective amplification of short template DNA, Biorxiv
et al., 2021, Detection of Multiple Breast Cancer ESR1 mutations on an ISFET based Lab-on-Chip Platform., Ieee Trans Biomed Circuits Syst, Vol:PP