The Long and Winding Road from Technology to Patients
Multiple pathways exist for academic investigators to translate basic discoveries into commercial products. In this talk, I will review some of the pathways in which a scientific discovery can become the basis of a commercial venture. I will then describe my personal journey, where I worked with companies, foundations and the NIH to create a series of commercial tuberculosis diagnostic tests that have been implemented on a global scale.
Dr. Alland is a Professor of Medicine and the Chief of Infectious Disease as well as the Director of the Center for Emerging Pathogens and the Rutgers Regional Biocontainment Laboratories at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. His laboratory focuses on Mycobacterium tuberculosis molecular biology, epidemiology, and diagnostics, and how it relates to the development of antibiotic resistance on both the cellular and epidemiological level. In collaboration with Cepheid, he developed a tuberculosis detection assay that isolates and PCR amplifies M. tuberculosis directly from sputum enabling detection of M. tuberculosis and MDR tuberculosis in less than two hours in a single hands-free step. Work that is more recent includes the development of an ultra-sensitive tuberculosis assay, and multiplex point-of-care assays for Ebola, Zika and other viral causes of tropical fever, Candida sepsis and select agent sepsis.