Company: About MIDI

History of MIDI

Microbial IDentification Inc (MIDI) is a privately held, veteran-owned biotechnology company based in Newark, Delaware USA. The company has been developing rapid microbial identification solutions for clinical and environmental microbiology laboratories under the Sherlock® brand name since 1991. The fatty acid-based technology behind the Sherlock brand was created in the early 1980s out of a partnership between the Hewlett-Packard Co. (later became Agilent Technologies in 1999) and Dr. Myron Sasser in University of Delaware's Plant Pathology Department. The goal of the partnership was to create a rapid phenotypic method for the identification of plant pathogenic bacteria based on gas chromatographic analysis
of cellular fatty acids (GC-FAME). The original product was named the HP Microbial Identification System and released in 1985.

By 1987, Dr. Sasser gained full rights to the technology and in 1991 founded MIDI and the Sherlock brand name.  The HP Microbial Identification System was renamed to the Sherlock® Microbial Identification System (MIS). By 1998, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognized the Sherlock MIS as an official method for aerobic bacterial identification (NIOSH # 0801) because of the system's ability to rapidly identify a wide range of bacteria. In addition, the Sherlock MIS gained AOAC INTERNATIONAL clearance in 2005 for the confirmation of the anthrax pathogen, Bacillus anthracis.  The Sherlock MIS is the only commercially-available system that uses GC-FAME technology and is currently used in 35 countries in a variety of markets, including in 9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world.

The Sherlock® Mycobacteria Identification System (MYCO-LCS) was released in 2003 and represents the only commercially-available mycobacterial identification system that analyzes mycolic acids by HPLC, considered by many to be the "Gold Standard" technology for mycobacteria identification.  The Sherlock MYCO-LCS represents a rapid, accurate and comprehensive solution for the identification of over 60 mycobacteria and related species in the following genera: Corynebacteria, Dietzia, Gordonia, Nocardia, Rhodococcus and Tsukamurella.  The Sherlock MYCO-LCS is currently used in the U.S., Western Europe and China in leading respiratory hospitals and public health labs.

Sherlock® DNA Sequencing Software was released in 2006 and identifies bacteria, yeast and fungi by rRNA gene sequencing. Sherlock DNA can be used in conjunction with any DNA sequencer and the results can be combined with those from MIDI's two identification systems for polyphasic results. MIDI's experience in DNA sequencing stems from the work of our sister company, MIDI Labs.  MIDI Labs was the co-developer of the first commercial rRNA gene sequencing library and is the longest operating contract laboratory to offer DNA sequencing-based microbial identification.

In addition to revenue from product sales, MIDI has received funding from Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants (one such grant led to the Sherlock MYCO-LCS) from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and contracts from the U.S. Defense Department (one such contract led to MIDI's Biodefense Library).

MIDI has been a Premier HP & Agilent Channel Partner since 1991.

Mission Statement

To provide the most advanced microbial identification products and highest level of service to our customers.

MIDI personnel


Management Team

President, CEO & R&D Director of Laboratory Research - Myron Sasser, Ph.D.
Dr. Myron Sasser founded MIDI in 1991 and has more than 40 years of experience in microbiology and fatty acid-based microbial identification in particular, with numerous published articles to his credit. He has led the R&D efforts at MIDI since its inception, resulting in numerous patents and products. Prior to MIDI, he was a Professor of Plant Pathology for 20 years at the University of Delaware (UD, 1968-1988). During his tenure at UD, he developed the first microbial libraries for HP's Microbial Identification System. In 1987, Myron gained the rights to the fatty acid-based technology behind HP's Microbial Identification System and MIDI and the Sherlock Microbial Identification System were created in 1991. Myron earned a B.S. in Horticulture / Chemistry, an M.S. in Vegetable Crops and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology, all from the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Vice President - Gary Jackoway
Gary Jackoway has more than 30 years of experience in a wide range of software development projects, including development of MIDI's Sherlock Operating Software user interface and libraries. Prior to MIDI, he worked for 20 years at HP as a Software Engineer, leading the development of the first and subsequent generations of ChemStation software. Gary earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Stanford University
and an M.A. in Computer Science from Duke University.