Hamilton Spectator (11.22.12)
Two assistant professors at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, have won grants of $100,000 each from Canada’s federal government for two different types of TB research. Dr. Peter Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada, which uses federal money to fund ideas that can potentially impact global health, stated that both projects are working to make improvements in TB diagnosis that would benefit patients in the developing world and that would make diagnosis much faster.
Leyla Soleymani, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster, is building a hand-held solar rechargeable device for fast TB assessment at the bedside. Ravi Selvaganapathy, associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Biomicrofluidics, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McMaster, hopes to significantly speed up traditional trusted diagnostic methods of culture-based testing. While on sabbatical in India, he noticed that the doctors did not use the new technologies for diagnosing TB because they did not trust them. He then decided to find a way to make trusted methods faster by breaking one sample into a million small samples that can be grown in hours instead of the four to six weeks it now takes to grow the bacterial cultures for study.
These projects are two of 17 being funded in Canada and of 51 more being funded in developing countries for a total of $7.2 million.