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Foundation of UMDNJ Receives Grand Challenges Tuberculosis Biomarkers Grant
Date:3/14/2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Foundation of UMDNJ, an affiliate of New Jersey Health Foundation, has received a tuberculosis (TB) biomarkers grant through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health program, an initiative which seeks to overcome persistent bottlenecks in creating new tools that can radically improve health in the developing world.

With the grant, Dr. David Alland, professor of medicine, chief of infectious diseases, and director of the Center for Emerging and Re-Emerging Pathogens at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, will pursue an innovative research project to identify and validate TB biomarkers, titled "Permeable Magnetic Nanoparticles for point-of-care tuberculosis diagnosis".

The Grand Challenges TB biomarkers program provides funding for groundbreaking research into TB biomarkers for the development of a low-cost, simple to use tool that can quickly and accurately diagnose TB in developing countries.

"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," said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We hope these innovative ideas lead to effective and affordable TB diagnostics that can make an impact on one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases."

Dr. Alland's project is one of ten Grand Challenges TB biomarkers grants awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Diagnostic assays are important components of tuberculosis (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 common to virtually every one of these methods lies in the difficulty of extracting MTB from the clinical sample. This project
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SOURCE New Jersey Health Foundation
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