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Biomedical and Optical Instrumentation Expert Witness

Giacomo Vacca, Ph.D. - Kinetic River Corp.

Giacomo Vacca, Ph.D. - Kinetic River Corp.

897 Independence Avenue, Suite 4A
Mountain View, California 94043

Phone(650) 269-0726


► Contact Giacomo Vacca, Ph.D. - Kinetic River Corp.

Expert WitnessSpeaker
Dr. Vacca is President of Kinetic River Corp., a Silicon Valley biomedical instrumentation company focused on cell analysis and in vitro diagnostics. As a consultant, Dr. Vacca specializes in flow cytometry, hematology analysis, instrumentation design, and optics. As expert witness, he has produced a number of reports and has testimony experience in the fields of flow cytometry, cell sorting, and particle separation. Activities at Kinetic River include conceiving, designing, developing, building and selling new flow cytometry instrumentation; conducting design reviews, technology and IP assessments, and technical due diligence; and delivering training seminars in flow cytometry and biophotonics. Dr. Vacca has filed more than 75 patent applications, has been granted 44 U.S. and international patents, and has 29 patents pending.


Dr. Vacca offers the following services:

• Testifying Expert Witness
• Due Diligence
• Expert Technical Consulting
• Design Reviews
• System Design
• Instrumentation Prototyping
• Training Seminars

Areas of Expertise

Additional Expertise:

Flow Cytometry, Cell Sorting, Optical Instrumentation, Optics and Photonics, Biophotonics, Biophotonic Instrumentation, Bioinstrumentation, Biomedical Devices, Optical Systems; Optical System Design, Instrumentation Design, Cell Analyzers, Cytometry, Light Scattering, Fluorescence, Fluorescence Assays, Fluorescence Bioassays, Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting, Biosensors, Microfluidics, In Vitro Diagnostics.


Dr. Vacca founded and is President of Kinetic River Corp., a Silicon Valley biomedical instrumentation company focused on cell analysis and in vitro diagnostics. Dr. Vacca has been issued 43 patents, is Senior Member of both OSA and SPIE, is a reviewer for ISAC, and has been an invited speaker, moderator, panel member, mentor, workshop chair, and conference chair at meetings on cytometry, optics, medical devices, and innovation. He has written a number of articles for both peer-reviewed journals and trade magazines, as well as a book chapter on flow cytometry. He also co-founded and serves as Chief Science Officer of BeamWise, Inc., an optical system design automation software company. He received a Physics BA and MA from Harvard University and an Applied Physics PhD from Stanford University.

Consulting Practice

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Professional Experience

Dr. Vacca has 27 years of combined consulting, industry, and research experience, including:

• Founder and President, Kinetic River Corp. (consulting, design, and development of life science and biomedical instrumentation)
• Co-founder and Chief Science Office, BeamWise Inc. (developer and provider of optical system design automation software)
• New Technology Group, Abbott Laboratories, Santa Clara, CA, USA (assessment of new technologies for acquisition and licensing)
• Intellectual Property Manager, Abbott Laboratories, Santa Clara, CA, USA (in charge of hematology business unit IP portfolio)
• Program Development Manager, Abbott Laboratories, Santa Clara, CA, USA (responsible for research and development of new hematology analyzer instruments and assays; managed groups of scientist and engineers, budgets, and programs; launched several 510(k) cleared analyzers and upgrades)
• Program Marketing Manager, Picarro, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA (responsible for technical marketing of laser product lines)
• Project Leader and Optical Engineer, Picarro, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA (developed new laser product, generated IP, led development program)
• Design Physicist, Lightwave Microsystems Corp., San Jose, CA, USA (developed integrated optical circuits for telecommunications, generated IP, built new laboratory for microfluidics R&D)
• Associate Physicist, Exxon Research & Engineering Company, Annandale, NJ, USA (responsible for in-house X-ray scattering facilities for material characterization)


• SPIE Short Course Instructor, 2015-present
• CYTO Program Committee Member (ISAC), 2013-present
• CYTO Reviewer (ISAC), 2013-present
• Consultants’ Network of Silicon Valley (IEEE-CNSV), 2011-present
• Bio2Device Group (B2DG), 2011-present
• International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC), 2006-present
• The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), 2005-present
• The Optical Society (OSA), 1998-present


Over 30 conference session and workshop chair, moderator, and keynote, invited, and panel speaker engagements, including:

• Speaker, VIP Industry Leaders Speed Meeting Lunch, CLEO (San Jose, CA, 2017 / 2018)
• Moderator, Technology Transfer Program, CLEO:EXPO (San Jose, CA, 2015 / 2017 / 2018)
• Chair/Co-chair, “Flow Cytometry Trends and Drivers,” Workshop at CYTO 2018 (Prague, Czechia, 2018), CYTO 2015 (Glasgow, Scotland, 2015), CYTO 2013 (San Diego, CA, 2013)
• Panel Speaker, “Prospects and Future of Microfluidics,” Photonics West (San Francisco, CA, 2014 / 2016 / 2018)
• Speaker, “Making Every Drop Count in Biomedical Analysis,” IEEE-CNSV Meeting (Milpitas, CA, 2017)
• Panel Speaker, “Technology and Markets: What bioinstrumentation developers need from the photonics industry,” Laser & Photonics Marketplace Seminar (San Francisco, CA, 2017)
• Panel Speaker, “Entrepreneurship and Uncertainty,” 10th Women Intel Network Conference (Folsom, CA, 2016)
• Mentor, Health Startups Pitch Sessions, Startup Weekend Sacramento Health Edition (Sacramento, CA, 2016)
• Keynote Speaker, “System Design Convergence: From Concept to Working Instrument in < 8 Wks,” 20th International Conference of the Society for Design and Process Science (Ft. Worth, TX, 2015)
• Moderator, Technology Transfer Program, CLEO:EXPO (San Jose, CA, 2015)
• Invited Speaker, “Human Cell Analysis: The Technology Behind The World's Most Common Diagnostic Test,” IEEE CNSV Meeting (Santa Clara, CA, 2014)
• Moderator, Technology Pitch Session, CLEO:EXPO (San Jose, CA, 2014)
• Co-chair, “New Instruments,” Session at CYTO 2014 (Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 2014)
• Invited Speaker, “Advances in Optical Design,” Meeting of the Northern California Section of the OSA (Palo Alto, CA, 2014)
• Invited Speaker, “Automated Design Tools for Biophotonic Systems,” Photonics West: OPTO (San Francisco, CA, 2014)
• Invited Speaker, “New Tools for Cell Analysis: High-Throughput Fluorescence Lifetime,” Leibniz Association Seminar, Deutsche Rheumaforschungszentrum (Berlin, Germany, 2014)
• Invited Speaker, “Laser Rastering: Acousto-optical deflectors put to use in medical diagnostics” 19th Annual Symposium of the Great Lakes International Imaging and Flow Cytometry Association (Detroit, MI, 2010)

Awards & Honors

• Senior Member, SPIE, 2015
• Research Fellow of the Volwiler Scientific Society, Abbott Laboratories, 2010
• Senior Member, Optical Society of America, 2010
• Top Research Platinum Award for Laser Rastering, Abbott Hematology, 2009
• Silver Award for outstanding technical leadership, Abbott Hematology, 2009
• Bronze Award for innovation, Abbott Hematology, 2008
• Abbott Diagnostics Technical Advisory Board Technical Leadership Award Nominee, Abbott Park, 2008

Seminars & Training

• Short Course Instructor, “Flow Cytometry Trends & Drivers,” SPIE Photonics West (San Francisco, CA, 2017)
• Short Course Instructor, “Flow Cytometry Trends & Drivers,” SPIE Photonics West (San Francisco, CA, 2016)
• Short Course Instructor, “Flow Cytometry Trends & Drivers,” SPIE Photonics West (San Francisco, CA, 2015)
• Seminar Instructor, “Flow cytometry Seminar,” full-day seminar at leading optical sensors company (California, 2014)
• Seminar Instructor, "Flow Cytometry: Principles, Applications, Market Trends and Technology Drivers," 2-day site-wide seminar series at leading optics & photonics company (United Kingdom and Germany, 2014)
• Seminar Instructor, “Flow cytometry: A technical overview,” R&D group at leading optics and photonics company (2012)
• Seminar Instructor “Flow cytometry: A technical overview,” R&D group at leading test & measurement company (2011)


Over 108 published papers, patent publications, and conference presentations, including:

Books and book chapters:
• J.P. Houston, Z. Yang, J. Sambrano, W. Li, K. Nichani, G. Vacca, “Overview of Fluorescence Lifetime Measurements
in Flow Cytometry,” in: T. Hawley, R. Hawley (eds.), Flow Cytometry Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol.
1678. Humana Press, New York, NY (2018; published online, October 2017)

Selected technical and industry journals:
• G. Vacca, “Flow cytometry pushes the envelope of applications possibilities,” Laser Focus World 53, 78 (Jun 2017)
• G. Vacca, S. Murphy, T. Karras, H. Lehtimäki, “New software environment creates coherent workflow for optical
system design,” Laser Focus World (May 2017)
• G. Vacca, “In Vitro Diagnostics, Immunology Spurring Advances in Flow Cytometry,” Photonics Spectra (Nov. 2016)
• G. Vacca and J. P. Houston, “Instrumentation advances add flexibility and quantitation to flow cytometry,” BioOptics World (Jan/Feb 2015)
• G. Vacca, “Lessons Learned in Biophotonic Systems Design,” Biophotonics (October 2014)
• G. Vacca, H. Lehtimäki, T. Karras, S. Murphy, “Automated Design Tools for Biophotonic Systems,” Proc. SPIE 8992, 899202 (2014)
• W. Li, G. Vacca, M. Castillo, K. D. Houston, J. P. Houston, “Fluorescence Lifetime Excitation Cytometry by Kinetic Dithering,” Electrophoresis, doi: 10.1002/elps.201300618 (2014)
• G. Vacca, interview by S. Tracy, “3 Questions With Dr. Giacomo Vacca, Kinetic River Corp.,” Biophotonics (May 2014)
• G. Vacca, M. R. Junnarkar, N. R. Goldblatt, M. W. Yee, B. M. Van Slyke, T. C. Briese, “Laser rastering flow cytometry: fast cell counting and identification,” Proc. SPIE 7182, 71821T (February 2009)
• G. M. H. Knippels, S. Koulikov, B. Kharlamov, G. Vacca, C. W. Rella, B. A. Richman, A. A. Kachanov, S. Tan, E. H. Wahl, H. Pham, and E. R. Crosson, "Moving solid-state cyan lasers beyond 20 mW," Proc. SPIE 5332, 175 (July 2004)
• G. Vacca, R. D. Morgan, and R. B. Laughlin, "Differential light scattering: Probing the sonoluminescence collapse," Physical Review E 60, R6303 (December 1999)

Selected patent publications:
• G. Vacca, U.S. patent publication #2016/0103056, “Flow cytometry apparatus and methods” (April 14, 2016)
• J. Wu, G. Vacca, U.S. patent publication #2016/0018313, “Method for hematology analysis” (January 21, 2016)
• J. Wu, G. Vacca, U.S. patent publication #2016/0018310, “White blood cell analysis system and method" (January 21, 2016)
• G. Vacca, U.S. patent publication #2016/0011096, “Flow cytometry apparatus and methods” (January 14, 2016)
• G. Vacca, U.S. patent application #2015/0056645, “Particle analysis and sorting apparatus and methods,” (February 26, 2015)

Professional References

References available upon request.


• Ph.D. in Applied Physics, Stanford University, California, USA
• B.A./M.A. in Physics cum laude in general studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
• International Baccalaureate, Lester B. Pearson College, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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