Ana Sofia de Olazarra
Nucleic acids are powerful biomarkers with broad diagnostic applications including the identification of disease-causing pathogens, gene expression analysis, and genotyping for mutational analysis. Despite their demonstrated value, many nucleic acid amplification technologies (NAATs) depend upon centralized laboratory facilities and trained technicians, hampering their ability to be widely deployed, particularly in limited resource settings. To address this unmet need, I am developing a point-of-care (POC) platform that will automatically perform both PCR amplification and endpoint analyte detection using Giant MagnetoResistive (GMR) biosensors in order to detect nucleic acid biomarkers with clinical laboratory precision. In doing so, I hope to widely improve health outcomes by providing access to quantitative immunoassays outside of conventional laboratory settings.