Department Seminar

Diseases, Patients, and Platforms – Diagnostics for the Developing World

Speaker Details:

Katy Graef (BioE-AP Speaker)

Bio Ventures for Global Health

Lecture Details:

June 5, 2014
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Foege N130A, Wallace H. Coulter Seminar Room


Diagnostics are an integral element of accurately identifying and effectively treating patients. These technologies have evolved significantly since the invention of the first light microscope – patients and healthcare providers now rely on a wide range of techniques spanning microscopy and bacterial culture to flow cytometry and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While these powerful – and often extremely expensive – methods are effective in diagnosing diseases in developed countries, patients living in low-resource, developing world settings usually require a different set of tools. Diagnostics for low income countries must consider such factors as cost, lack of electricity, component thermostability, end-user training, sample type, and the need for rapid, point-of-care technologies. Currently, diagnostics for infectious diseases common in the developing world – neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and tuberculosis – that address these factors, are limited. Cross-sector efforts, such as the WIPO Re:Search consortium, are addressing this dearth of diagnostics for these diseases of poverty. This seminar will discuss the diseases affecting populations living in the developing world and the healthcare centers within these regions. Technologies in development through WIPO Re:Search will be highlighted along with current products, as well as the technologies that are still required to address the needs of populations living in poverty.

Speaker Bio:

Katy Graef began working for BIO Ventures for Global Health in March 2013. She took on a full time position as Manager, Special Projects in July 2013. Katy obtained her bachelor’s degree, Microbiology, honors, magna cum laude, from the University of Washington. She completed her PhD in Virology at the University of Oxford, through the NIH Oxford Cambridge Scholars Program. Her graduate studies examined host-pathogen interactions of influenza viruses. Following her graduate work, she became a post-doctoral research fellow at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, where she studied tick-borne flaviviruses.