Filip Boskovic

Cavendish Laboratory

Filip is a PhD student at the Cavendish Laboratory in the KeyserLab. He is devoted to nanoscale biology, where he studies how fundamental understanding of biophysics can benefit society and be applied to innovative solutions. By combining knowledge of physical sciences, he tries to develop new methods for biology and medicine. Recently, he co-invited and published two studies that aim to identify, quantify, and characterize native RNAs that advanced pathogen diagnostics, analysis of gene expression, and even more sustainable materials for nucleic acid self-assembly. His postgraduate studies were funded by a George and Lilian Schiff Foundation Studentship (University of Cambridge), Benefactors' Scholarship (St Johns College), and the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability Ph.D. Scholarship.

The diagnosis of infectious diseases plays a vital role in determining appropriate patient treatment. Infectious diseases are the major cause of death globally. Many pathogens induce comparable symptoms and cannot be differentiated clinically, making the identification of appropriate treatment challenging. Here, I introduce an innovative approach that relies on structuring RNA with DNA strands, and their subsequent readout with nanopores. By using bacterial ribosomal RNA, I increased sensitivity by 10.000-100.000 times, enabling single-pathogen identification without PCR. My approach enabled single-(sero)variant specificity demonstrated on Salmonella serovariants. It led to testing for 100's of pathogens simultaneously in <30 minutes.

I have conceived/realized ideas for this project in KeyserLab. This project resulted in multiple papers (two published) and two patents on which I am lead author/inventor. This research is being commercialized by Cambridge Nucleomics and by ONT. It enabled development of the first personalized treatment for pandrug-resistant bacteria (BakerLab).

Other 2022 award winners

Teresa Brevini

Katrin Fischer

Ana Gatoo Jimenez de Laiglesia

Chengzi Guo

Nomisha Kurian

Rakoen Marieke Maertens

Katerina Naydenova

Clayton Roberts

Benjamin Tuck

Vaithish Velazhahan

Clara Wanjura

Previous award winners

Find out about the winners awarded in previous years: