UMDNJ Researcher Receives $1.8 Million Grant to Develop Diagnostic that Will Identify Potentially Life-threatening Blood Stream Infections
NEWARK — Dr. David Alland, chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, has been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop a test that would identify potentially life-threatening blood stream infections.
Dr. Alland is teaming up with Sunnyvale, California-based Cepheid Corporation, a molecular diagnostics company, on this effort. Dr. Alland is the principal investigator on the project. His partners at Cepheid include David Persing and Peter Daily.
“The focus of this research project is to rapidly identify potentially life-threatening blood stream infections caused by a bioterrorism attack,” Dr. Alland said. “However, the same principals should be applicable to diagnosing virtually any infection that might be present in the blood leading to improved diagnosis and treatment of these infections.”
Most bloodstream infections currently are detected by culture-based techniques that can take one to several days for a positive result.
“The idea is to design both a new type of specimen processing system and detection probes,” Dr. Alland said.
This is his second collaboration with Cepheid. He first teamed up with the company in 2006 to develop new technology to test for TB. That partnership is supported by a $3.7 million grant provided by the Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics, with an additional $3.9 million grant provided by NIAID, a component of the National Institutes of Health.
Their new project is funded via a four-year grant awarded by NIAID. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on basic immunology, transplantation and immune-related disorders, including autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergies.
Contact Zenaida Mendez at (973) 972-3000 to arrange an interview with Dr. Alland.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.