Mary Gates Research Scholar, Winter 2022
Research Project: Rapid Urine Specimen Processor for Point-of-Care TB Diagnosis
Project Description: Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of death with 10-million new infections per year. Existing point-of-care assays lack accuracy due to low biomarker concentration in infected patient urine. I am developing a rapid and power-free urine specimen processor to enable point-of-care TB testing in low-and-middle income countries.
What have you learned throughout your research project?
Throughout the research, I had the opportunity to connect with infectious disease experts, clinicians, rapid test manufacturers, global health non-profits and regulatory officials to hear patient stories and understand the perspectives of stakeholders outside of the engineering field. By understanding the challenges faced by underserved populations in high-endemic countries and the dynamic relationships among stakeholders that are behind the fundamental global health barriers, I learned to develop accessible engineering solutions with heavy consideration of usability and clinical diagnostic workflow, to include features beyond the basic specifications of diagnostic accuracy and speed.
What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?
Research is a never-ending process. Find what you are passionate about and give it your all.