Giacomo Vacca

Giacomo Vacca, Ph.D., earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in physics from Harvard University and a doctorate degree in applied physics from Stanford University. With Nobel Prize winner Bob Laughlin, he developed a novel ultrafast light scattering technique for his dissertation. He has set up entire laboratories from scratch, started and led development programs, and generated intellectual property, with 104 patent applications and 64 patents issued to date. He has also led diverse interdisciplinary groups and managed IP portfolios.

At Abbott Labs, Vacca invented and developed Laser Rastering, a radically innovative concept in flow cytometry that increased the rate of cell analysis by a factor of 30. In 2010 Vacca founded Kinetic River, a biophotonics design and product development company focused on flow cytometry. Since 2017, Kinetic River has been awarded four competitive Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants from the National Institutes of Health, totaling about $2.2 million to date, to help develop innovative flow cytometry technologies. Kinetic River's customers include the National Cancer Institute at the NIH, Italy's National Research Council, and enterprises from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

In 2013 Vacca cofounded BeamWise, a provider of optical system design tools. He is a past Abbott Research Fellow and a senior member of both SPIE and Optica.

Evgeniy Parilov |
Dreamstime Xxl 180154862

The Opposite of Theranos

Dec. 16, 2021
In this opinion piece, Kinetic River Corp. Founder and President Giacomo Vacca discusses the importance of innovation without the celeb hype.
FIGURE 1. This composite microscope image shows a 488 nm laser beam (center) and a 640 nm laser beam (top) focused from the side into a flowcell channel (vertical channel walls visible because of scattered light). A flowing sample of 3 μm fluorescent beads lights up in the 488 nm beam (bright oval in the center). The fluorescence light collection path (inset; concentric circles) is aligned behind the flowcell under LED illumination.
Test & Measurement

Photonics Applied: Flow Cytometry: Flow cytometry pushes the envelope of applications possibilities

June 12, 2017
Already ubiquitous in hospitals and life science labs worldwide to gain unprecedented insights into the building blocks of biology, flow cytometers are being relentlessly pushed...
(Courtesy of BeamWise)
FIGURE 1. BeamWise integrates the entire optical design workflow. After interactively creating a rough optical layout, the functional design is verified and tweaked using optical ray-tracing or full-propagation modeling tools (middle row, left) called directly from BeamWise. Optomechanical components are then added to the model using either linked databases from catalog suppliers (top row) or one's own custom/proprietary parts. The resulting optomechanical design is checked in BeamWise for physical conflicts and adjusted as needed. To run final checks, the design is exported as a 3D file to CAD tools (middle row, right) and/or as a Zemax file. Final design files (2D drawings, bill of materials, 3D model) are generated for documentation and transfer to manufacturing (bottom row).

Optical System Design: Software environment creates coherent workflow for optical system design

May 10, 2017
Bidirectional interfacing with other optical tools, real-time visualization, and interactive altering of designs all spur optical design creativity.