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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Washington: Professor Receives $1.4 Million Gates Grant to Study New Technologies in TB Testing

Dr. Paul Drain, assistant professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine, has received a $1.4 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct clinical evaluation studies of point-of-care tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic tests.

These rapid tests deliver quick results to patients and clinicians in hospitals and community clinics. By accelerating the initiation of TB treatment, patients may have better outcomes and will be less likely to transmit TB to others. TB has become the leading infectious cause of mortality in the world, due in part to poorly performing diagnostic test practices.

“Part of the failure to control TB is due to having inadequate or unavailable diagnostic tests in the countries that need them most,” said Dr. Drain, also an assistant professor of medicine and adjunct assistant professor of epidemiology.

“A better path forward is to identify a biomarker that does not rely on a sputum sample, and can be measured before people develop a cough and become highly contagious to others. TB is very difficult to diagnose using the conventional tests. The goal of this project is to develop a better point-of-care test for TB that can be implemented worldwide to address the TB epidemic.”

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