The heart of our company is our culture collection, a proprietary library of thousands of extremophile organisms discovered in Antarctica. The discovery of a unique, thermostable proteinase produced by one of these extremophiles led to our radical approach to enzymatic DNA and RNA extractions.
These extremophiles have inspired us to think differently about sample preparation and extracting nucleic acids. And they’re the basis of our temperature-controlled approach to nucleic acid extraction.
We believe sample preparation and extractions should be easier, safer and faster.
We believe detergents and denaturants should not be required.
We believe workflows should be done in minutes, not hours.
Our name is our commitment – Microfluidics, Genes, Enzymes, and Microbials – to push the frontiers of sample preparation and nucleic acid extraction capabilities.
High yields. High sample integrity. Highly effective sample preparation.
Nearly effortless extractions.
Our reagent kits are used in genomics, molecular biology, human ID, plant and agriculture, and biopharma. Our temperature-controlled enzymatic extraction process is perfectly compatible with STR, PCR, qPCR and Whole Genome Sequencing without purification steps.
Single cells? Small volumes? High throughput?
No problem. Our temperature-controlled extractions don’t use detergents and denaturants so yields are preserved. A single tube and fewer processing steps result in fewer errors, less risk and reduced contamination. And the whole process is easily automated on your existing laboratory equipment.
Have a challenging sample?
Our PDQeX Nucleic Acid Extractor simplifies hands-free lysis and purification. Our simplified workflow in a single closed-tube system handles tough samples.
Looking for easy sample prep and DNA extraction?
The PDQeX approach is the perfect solution for labs looking for fast, hands-free sample preparation – just load the instrument, choose your program, and press ‘Start’ for high-quality DNA in minutes.
Our Place in the World
Originally established as ZyGEM in New Zealand, the company is now registered in the United Kingdom as a public limited company with additional operations in China and the United States.
Now known as MicroGEM, our scientists and engineers are experts in enzymatic discovery and reagent development. Our executive officers and directors have deep industry and academic credentials, representing many decades of experience in the life sciences.
We work closely with Dr. James Landers in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia who brings expertise in analytical microfluidic systems and next-generation molecular diagnostics. We also collaborate with Dr. Jo-Ann Stanton at the University of Otago in New Zealand who brings expertise in handheld molecular diagnostic devices and systems for in-field and point-of-care applications.
Chairman of the BoardDanny Chan has long involvement with the education, investment, insurance, floriculture and export industries. After spending 16 years in the insurance and investment management fields in New Zealand, Danny was appointed by Fidelity Investments of USA, the largest fund management company in the world, to the Board of their Asia/Pacific operation and to head their Taiwan office in 1986. He returned to New Zealand in 1994 to develop his own business interests, including education, investment management, financial and business consultancy, floriculture, seafood processing and security systems.
Danny is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand and a member of the Cost and Management Association. He is a Fellow of the Certified Securities Analyst Professional and a member of the Institute of Directors. He is a director of Academic Colleges Group Limited, the largest private education group in New Zealand. His other directorships including Flowerzone International Limited, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Limited, Farmers Mutual Group, Transport Investment Limited and Marlborough Wine Estates Limited. He is a member of the New Zealand Stock Exchange NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal.
Additional memberships include the NZ-China Executive Advisory Council, the Confucius Institute in New Zealand, the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the Centre for Asia Pacific Excellence.
Chief Executive OfficerJeff Chapman is a global life sciences marketing and business executive possessing strong scientific and technical knowledge in the life sciences industry. Jeff has a proven track record in the development and management of new and mature technologies in traditional, growth and emerging markets, most recently serving as senior director, CE Business Unit at Sciex (a Danaher operating company). He also led the development of scientific alliances and directed global marketing at Beckman Coulter (a Danaher operating company). He is an industry expert in the field of microscale bioseparations.
Jeff received post-graduate degrees in immunology and neuroimmunology from the University of Calgary. He graduated cum laude in biochemistry from the University of Saskatchewan.
Chief Financial OfficerStuart Hellyar is a prize-winning Chartered Accountant having qualified with the ‘Big 4’ audit firm EY in 1995. Stuart read Mathematics with Statistics at Bath University and has since followed a successful career in finance. He has worked at board level over the past 13 years within growth companies in the technology, defence and aerospace, and support services sectors.
Stuart has significant public company experience including statutory reporting, corporate governance, and city experience. His core finance specialties include financial reporting, tax, treasury, and internal audit. He has strong international experience predominately within the USA, Australasia, and Europe and also has significant merger and acquisition experience, including recently running a ‘dual track’ exercise for Mouchel Group which concluded with a trade sale to Kier Group plc for £265m.
Director, Chief Scientific Officer - MicrofluidicsJames Landers is a professor of chemistry and mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia, as well as an associate professor of pathology at the University of Virginia Health System. He earned his bachelor of science degree in biochemistry with a minor in biomedicine and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Guelph in Ontario (Canada). After a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Banting Institute at the University of Toronto School of Medicine, as a Canadian Medical Research Council (MRC) Fellow at the Mayo Clinic-Rochester, he studied cancer biology and diagnostics under Thomas Spelsberg, a renowned breast cancer biochemist. He launched and directed Mayo Clinic’s Clinical Capillary Electrophoresis Facility in the department of laboratory medicine and pathology, developing clinical assays based on capillary electrophoretic technology.
James joined the chemistry department at the University of Pittsburgh, where he forayed into analytical microfluidic systems with the goal of developing the next generation molecular diagnostics platform. This research was bolstered by the move to the University of Virginia where access to a dedicated class-100 cleanroom for microchip fabrication allowed for rapid prototyping of microdevices for separations, DNA purification, and DNA amplification.
His research group was among the first to generate a fully integrated lab-on-a-chip (PNAS 103:19272, 2006), successfully applied to detecting infectious agents in biofluids and cancer diagnostics as well as defining new approaches to fluidic control on microchips (NATURE Physics 5:231, 2009) and a new simple, cost-effective fabrication for microfluidic devices without clean room facilities (NATURE Protocols 10:875, 2015). He has authored more than 250 papers and 25 book chapters on topics as diverse as receptor biochemistry, capillary electrophoretic method development, microchip fabrication, forensic DNA analysis and integrated microfluidic systems for application to both the clinical and forensic arenas. In addition, he has completed the third in the succession of editions of CRC Press Handbook of Capillary Electrophoresis, with this one extrapolated to microchip electrophoresis and associated microtechniques.
Director, Chief Scientific Officer - Enzymes and ReagentsDavid Saul graduated in genetics from The University of Sheffield (UK) and went on to acquire a Ph.D. in molecular genetics, also from Sheffield. Since then he has worked in several fields relating to the molecular study of organisms and their genes. A key focus has been on developing biotechnological applications of microorganisms that live in extreme environments.
For 21 years, David worked as a researcher and academic at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His specialties include molecular genetics, microbiology, biotechnology, computational biology and forensic DNA analysis. During his career with ZyGEM (now MicroGEM), he has focussed on DNA detection and identification, and has generated a substantial body of intellectual property for the company. His focus has been the invention of processes and devices for simple, low-cost and competitive diagnostics.
Director - Plant SpecialistGarth Smith was awarded a Ph.D. in plant physiology, and a D.Sc. in Kiwifruit Physiology, both from Waikato University. He then founded two companies based upon his research; one centered on the discovery of two plant-based compounds that are safe for humans but highly effective against drug-resistant malaria, and the other company on a zero calorie sweetener extracted from a fruit.
Garth has published 200 scientific papers on plant physiology.