Research

Diagnostics Discovery Laboratory

The research portfolio in the Diagnostics Discovery Laboratory is focused on biodefense, life-threatening fungal infections or other conditions that can be diagnosed using the rapid immunoassay platform. We have a particular interest in infections that impact resource limited countries and patients who would benefit most from point-of-care diagnostics. For example, cryptococcosis causes 15% of AIDS-related deaths globally, only narrowly behind tuberculosis. Similarly, melioidosis is a major cause of bacterial sepsis in Southeast Asia as well as a serious biothreat.

A particular strength of the DDL is the production of antibodies to microbial polysaccharides. Antibodies to polysaccharides or polysaccharide-like antigens are central to diagnostics for cryptococcosis, anthrax, melioidosis, and a broad spectrum of fungal infections. Polysaccharides are difficult antigens because they are poor immunogens in mice. As a consequence, the DDL team has developed a number of proprietary technologies for immunization of mice for high-level antibody production.

Research in the Diagnostics Discovery Laboratory is supported by a range of funding mechanisms through the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense.

As diagnostic development programs are completed for individual diseases, new projects are added. The DDL is expanding its scope of work to include bacterial, viral and parasitic infections of humans, animals and plants.

Research Projects