Photo of Leandro Ciappina

Biotechnology & medicine

Leandro Ciappina

His biotech start-up cheaply sequences the DNA of each cell to achieve better diagnoses and treatments.

Year Honored


Latin America

Hails From

In the nucleus of our cells is the genetic code that determines part of our life and health. Although in theory when we are born, we have the same DNA throughout our bodies, cells mutate frequently. And some of those mutations in our 30 trillion cells can form tumors.  

Knowing the genetic sequence of each individual cell can have many applications beyond oncology. Microbiology, neurology, reproductive medicine, and immunology are some of the fields where single cell sequencing can bring breakthroughs. 

This revolutionary biotechnology that can expand our knowledge of biology and human diseases still has a big "but": its high price. To read the genomic information of cells at a lower cost, the young Argentinean business administrator, Leandro Ciappina, has created ArgenTAG, a start-up to study the fundamental unit of life. For this breakthrough that democratizes this new biotechnological technique, Ciappina has been awarded as one of the 35 winners of MIT Technology Review's Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2022 in Spanish. 

The young man details, "Being able to read the DNA of individual cells is fundamental to understanding current diseases. However, the tools are limited by their high price and low resolution." ArgenTAG's mission is to democratize single cell sequencing with a cost-effective solution so that researchers around the world from genomics and biotech centers can accelerate discoveries that contribute to precision diagnostics and treatments. 

By enabling a new level of information by reading individual cells in each tissue, ArgenTAG could enable detection of malignant cells that would go undetected with general genomic analysis. This invention could facilitate a more precise understanding of the complexity of a tumor and personalize its treatment. And even better evaluate and follow up a cancer. 

ArgenTAG will launch a first commercial version of its technology with research centers in the United States and Europe. After achieving this, they are looking to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies in the discovery of new drugs. Their main focus will continue to be on improving the quality of life of people around the world.