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Grand Challenges TB Biomarkers Grant
|DAVID ALLAND, MD|
DAVID ALLAND‚ MD‚ professor of medicine‚ chief of infectious diseases‚ and director of the Center for Emerging and Re–Emerging Pathogens at NJMS‚ is the recipient of a TB biomarkers grant awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health program. This initiative seeks to overcome persistent bottlenecks in creating new tools to radically improve health in the developing world.
With the grant‚ awarded through the Foundation of UMDNJ‚ Alland will pursue research to identify and validate TB biomarkers. The program underwrites research aimed at developing a low–cost‚ simple–to–use tool that can quickly and accurately diagnose TB in developing countries. Alland's is one of 10 Grand Challenges TB biomarkers grants awarded. "There is an urgent need to break through barriers in biomarker research in order to develop a highly sensitive point–of–care diagnostic to improve identification of active TB cases‚" says Chris Wilson‚ director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Diagnostic assays are important components of TB control programs. Numerous methods exist that can rapidly detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in patient sputum (and potentially in other clinical samples). However‚ a major limitation lies in the difficulty of extracting MTB from the clinical sample. This project will develop a simple‚ rapid and sensitive method to magnetically extract MTB from any volume of sputum that can reasonably be produced by a patient.