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Instant testing for sore throats wins CIMIT prize
Date:7/8/2010

Imagine finding out before you leave the pediatrician's office if your child has strep throat, or even something more serious requiring a different treatment. A novel application for applying DNA "nanobarcodes" in a clinical assay could help primary-care physicians quickly and more accurately determine what's causing a patient's acute pharyngitis from an easy throat swab.

Mark R. Hartman, a Cornell University PhD candidate in Biological and Environmental Engineering will lead the team chosen to receive the $150,000 top honor in the 2010 CIMIT Prize in Primary Healthcare competition. His team's project seeks to apply novel DNA-based "fluorescence nanobarcodes" as a platform technology for multiplexed rapid clinical diagnoses in primary care. Second place and $100,000 is awarded to another Cornell-based, student-led team. Third place and $50,000 goes to a team at the MIT Media Lab.

In announcing the winners of the 2010 CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare, Ronald Newbower, CTO and Co-Founder of CIMIT remarked, "We are delighted with the passion this Prize competition has elicited amongst engineering students. They are clearly eager to develop innovative technologies to address our national challenges in primary care. The winners of our major awards are headed toward terrific careers and may well serve as role models for others in their field. CIMIT is proud to be able to support their efforts."

Rewarding Innovative Students

Top prize and $150,000 has been awarded to the project, "Rapid Multiplexed Detection of Pathogens with DNA Nanobarcodes". The novel technology offers the promise of a one-step quick point-of-care test for an array of pathogens possibly responsible for pharyngitis. This diagnostic tool would allow timely and accurate triage of sore throats. It is based on a powerful platform technology, first developed by scientists at Cornell several years ago, and licensed by them to a startup company.


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Contact: Elaine Richardson
emrichardson@partners.org
617-643-3838
CIMIT
Source:Eurekalert

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