Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS Information Technology Award: 2022 Winners

MMS Information Technology Award: 2022 Winners

David Roach – Development of a low-resource assay to profile drug-resistant K. pneumoniae in Peru

Category: Resident

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause an estimated 5 million deaths annually, with the highest burden in low and middle-income countries. Frequently, the infrastructure required to diagnose these infections is not available in those areas most affected, likely leading to worse outcomes.

Roach’s goal is to build a cheap, portable diagnostic platform to identify resistant bacterial infections in low-resource settings.

David explained his approach.

“First, I will adapt the SHERLOCK method of nucleic acid detection, which has been shown to detect human viral infections, to identify bacterial infections of the bloodstream and urine at species-level resolution,” he said. “Second, I will modify the target gene amplification step of the assay to allow for multiplexing up to 10 gene targets simultaneously, which will increase the utility of the assay. Concurrently, I will work with well-established Peruvian collaborators who have established a large collection of K. pneumoniae isolates with associated whole genome sequencing (WGS) data.

I will utilize this dataset to identify all carbapenemase genes present within the population and develop a SHERLOCK assay that is tailored to this region, with validation done on stored samples in the collaborator’s collection. This work will serve as a model for other areas of the globe for using tailored, point-of-care gene-based detection systems in low-resource settings that are highly impacted by antibiotic-resistant organisms."

Deniz Goodman – iProbe: an ultrasound simulator application

Category: Student

iProbe: an ultrasound simulator application is an app that provides an easily accessible and free repository of ultrasound images and functions as a probe simulator and provides point-of-care ultrasound scan simulation to medical students without local access to tower machines.

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