Diagnostics for Global Health – Global Health Workshop 2023

Bringing together multiple communities who are focused on developing and implementing diagnostic technologies for global health applications. This virtual workshop included communities that research, develop, and commercialized microfluidic technologies as well as public health and clinical professionals who strategize, implement, and evaluate new technologies and systems. Lab on a Chip was delighted to sponsor this event.

“We are grateful that this workshop was able to run as an online conference to bring together renowned researchers, entrepreneurs, and public health experts from across the world onto a single platform for learning and discussion of critical diagnostics topics. This year’s speaker and panel themes focused around sustainability, commercialization and delivery of global health diagnostics.

Our keynotes included Madhukar Pai (McGill University, CANADA), Maiwenn Kersuady-Kerhoas (Heriot-Watt University, UK), Umut Gurkan (Case Western Reserve University, USA), Tivani Mashamba-Thompson (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Bushan Toley (Papyrus Diagnostics, Indian Institute of Science, India), Catherine Klapperich (Boston Univeristy, USA), and Adriana Velazquez Berumen (World Health Organization, Switzerland).

We had 109 attendees joining from 6 continents, including 35 complementary attendees from the Global South thanks to the Purdue’s Global Engineering Program and Partnerships and Shah Family Global Innovation Lab which helped to sponsor the complementary registrations. And much thanks to RSC for the Lab on a Chip Poster Awards – I know the competition was tough and the awards mean a lot to the winners.” – Conference Chair Jacqueline Linnes

Congratulations to our Lab on a Chip poster prize winners Vanessa Ho at Imperial College London and Oshin Sharma at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay!

Here is what Vanessa had to say about her work and the workshop:

What impact can your work have on the field and wider global health?
My research focuses on developing a microfluidic chip platform designed for quantifying individual cell-expressed microRNA molecules using a minimal number of cells, particularly beneficial for handling clinically scarce samples. This innovative tool integrates cell selection, isolation, lysis, and analysis within a single device. I have successfully demonstrated its efficacy in analysing microRNA levels across various cell types isolated from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patient samples, revealing insights into their responses to different stimuli. Additionally, the device exhibits sensitivity in measuring microRNA molecules in non-invasive nasal samples with limited quantities.

Beyond its current applications, this platform holds promise for the comprehensive study of various human diseases. Its adaptability allows for the analysis of diverse biological samples, including saliva and blood. This versatility is instrumental in advancing drug therapeutic approaches and precision medicine. The potential impact extends not only to enhancing our understanding of diseases but also to improving diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for better global health outcomes..

How did you benefit from attending the Global Health 2023 workshop?

I am grateful to the organisers for giving me the chance to participate in and present at the Global Health 2023 workshop. The workshop significantly broadened my perspective, particularly in terms of refining my platform to better serve users in less developed countries and incorporating sustainability considerations. Engaging with experts in the field from around the world was enlightening, as their insights provided valuable lessons for the further development of my project. Connecting with researchers in the global health community from diverse countries allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of their challenges and enriched my overall experience.


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