David Kelso, PhD

Dr. Kelso is one of the five founding members of Northwestern Global Health Foundation and serves as the organization’s Treasurer. Dr. Kelso is also the Director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health Technology (CIGHT) and an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University.  Dr. Kelso has been involved in assay system development for more than 25 years. In 2006, Dr. Kelso’s CIGHT was selected as one of the 43 recipients of the Grand Challenges in Global Health grants awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Before joining Northwestern, Professor Kelso developed a number of medical devices for the healthcare industry.  He was Chief Scientist at Baxter Healthcare’s  Pandex Division from 1986 to 1992 and directed the team of engineers and scientists which developed the a high-throughput, multi-channel blood screening system which detected HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases.


In 1981, Professor Kelso founded Pandex Laboratories and served as its president until 1986 when it was acquired by Baxter.  The company developed, manufactured and sold analytical systems for biomedical research which included instruments and reagents for performing fluorescence immunoassays, cellular analysis and other research procedures.  


Prior to his biotech venture, Professor Kelso was a cofounder of an intrapreneurial group at Abbott Laboratories which developed the TDx system and created the company’s therapeutic drug monitoring business.  At Abbott, he also developed the first microprocessor-controlled enzyme immunoassay analyzer, Quantum, leading the industry away from radioactive assays.