Skip to main content


Team DiagNano


DiagNano is an early stage technology company focused on nanotechnology and cancer diagnostics. The company began as a Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) team in 2006, and by the end of the year Brad Kairdolf, a biomedical engineering Ph.D. student in a joint program between the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University; Kristina Crockett, a biomedical engineer, entrepreneur, and MBA student at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Laura Huffman, a law student at Emory University; and Jarrett Silver, a JD/MBA from Emory University had formed a company with Brad as CEO and Kristina as CFO. Team member Jarrett Silver graduated, but DiagNano subsequently brought on fellow TI:GER students Richard Gaddis and Eric Galvez, both law students at Emory University.

DiagNano has competed in several business competitions and has been invited to give posters and presentations at summits and workshops. Specifically, they advanced to the final round in the Oak Ridge National Lab business competition in September, 2007; placed second in the Cockrell School of Engineering Challenge at the I2P competition in Austin, TX in November, 2007; and gave a presentation at the Emory-GT CCNE Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Workshop for members of the center and the NCI. In 2008, DiagNano placed 3rd in the Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition (February), and was one of 36 teams chosen from over 280 applicants to compete as a Semi-Finalist in the Rice Business Plan Competition where they placed 1st in its Challenge Round. Most recently, DaigNano was recognized by Fortune Small Business in an article about the 2008 Rice Business Plan Competition. In addition, DiagNano has filed for a provisional patent, and Brad and his advisor, Dr. Shuming Nie, have published their work in the March 2008 issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry.

This team’s recent success demonstrates their viability as a company and will certainly aid them in obtaining startup funding for product and clinical development of their NanoHC™ product line as Brad continues to develop research grade products for clinicians and biologists. They hope to conduct research tests next year at the National Cancer Institute’s nanotechnology centers.

Address Goals

In 2002, Dr. Marie Thursby began NSF-funded TI:GER at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University with the goal of creating a multi-disciplinary program which encourages entrepreneurship by joining students in science, engineering, business and law in cross-disciplinary training and team activities.

While team DiagNano has gone far beyond the requirements of the TI:GER program, it is our program that served as the catalyst for their success. Indeed, during the first year of the program, these students were tasked with developing a commercialization plan. During the second year, their challenge was to make that plan real. They had to discern, research, understand, and apply knowledge that would transform the theory of the plan into a viable venture. Through TI:GER, they learned what was needed for the technology to be used, what customers wanted, market dynamics, and intellectual property constraints and opportunities within a university environment.

Successful completion of the various components of the TI:GER program has led team DiagNano to measurable success. Brad Kairdolf became interested in this area of biomedical engineering research when his wife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He quickly began his attempt to develop a diagnostic tool that can provide an improved methodology for cancer diagnostics. As a result of his research, pathologists will potentially be able to examine multiple disease markers per test, as opposed to current methods that can test only one marker per test. Because of the TI:GER program, not only does Brad have a new technology, he also has an exposure to the business and legal knowledge of steps necessary to make his technology a commercial success and the expertise of individuals trained specifically in business and law to contribute to their mutual success.