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Get your COVID Vaccine

Third round of Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants awarded

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 3:18pm
By:
Alan Flurry

How can nanotechnology and big data be used to improve diagnosis of infectious viruses like SARS-CoV-2?

That’s one of the questions that will be explored through funding provided by a third round of Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants.

Eleven grants totaling $1.5 million were awarded in November 2021 to recipients of the third round of Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants. Overall the awards went to faculty from 13 UGA departments, centers, programs, schools and colleges.

One project, led by primary investigator Yiping Zhao, aims to combine nano-optics and machine-learning techniques to develop a rapid, portable and cost-effective point-of-care method to detect viruses—such as SARS-CoV-2—and bacterial infections in patients.

“Mitigating epidemic and pandemic diseases like COVID-19 will require improved diagnostic methods,” said Zhao, Distinguished Research Professor of Physics in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “Preliminary results have shown that our approach can deliver direct and differential detection of important respiratory viruses within 20 minutes.”

Zhao’s team includes Ralph Tripp and Hemant Naikare (College of Veterinary Medicine), Xianyan Chen (Franklin College of Arts and Sciences) and external collaborators.

A complete list of proposals that received Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant funding at the link. Congratulations to all of our faculty researchers and the productive, collaborative atmosphere they have helped develop at the university.

Image: Yiping Zhao, Distinguished Research Professor of Physics in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA)

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