CBID among four Johns Hopkins research teams to win funding to combat Zika virus

August 11, 2016
Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Zika virus

Colorized TEM of Zika virus

Four teams of researchers from Johns Hopkins University—including three from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and another pursuing an idea that originated at a recent Zika hackathon at JHU—will be awarded grants from U.S. Agency for International Development’s Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge, the agency announced today.

A complete list of grant recipients can be found on the USAID website. No other institution received more than two awards from USAID.

One project, known as VectorWEB, would improve upon the existing approach to mosquito population surveillance. Currently, ovitraps—designed to kill adult breeding mosquitos—are placed in the field, then later collected, and the number of mosquitoes in each trap is counted manually in a lab.

A team led by Soumyadipta Acharya, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has proposed a modified trap that would have the ability to provide real-time data to health administrators, community health workers, and others. That data could then be used for outbreak modeling, targeted resource allocation and redirection, and community-driven public health interventions.

The VectorWEB project is the result of a collaboration between the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, a center within the Department of Biomedical Engineering shared by the Whiting School of Engineering and the School of Medicine, and Jhpiego, a university-affiliated global health nonprofit.

Excerpted from The Hub.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design