Center will spark development of diagnostic tests for global health

November 26, 2007 by PATH

 Sue-Lane Wood, 206.285.3500,

Seattle, November 26, 2007—PATH and the University of Washington (UW) Departments of Global Health, Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases), and Laboratory Medicine today announced a new center to advance the development of diagnostic tests for patients in low-resource settings around the world. Funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the center will support development of technologies through clinical testing, identification of innovative technologies, assessment of critical clinical needs, and a training program.

The Center to Advance Point-of-Care Diagnostics for Global Health aims to develop affordable diagnostic tests for people in the developing world and other low-resource areas, where new outbreaks of disease often begin. Inexpensive and easy-to-use tests can empower health care professionals at the point of care to provide rapid diagnostic results for time-critical treatment and track outbreaks of critically important diseases worldwide such as HIV, tuberculosis, and avian influenza. Bernhard Weigl, PhD, of PATH will serve as director and principal investigator of the center where the clinical arm will be housed. The center encompasses five cores:

▪ Core 1, Lab and Field Testing of Prototype Devices, will perform in-house lab validation of promising technologies, followed by field testing to evaluate product performance in low-resource settings.

▪ Core 2, Identification and Selection of Collaborative Exploratory Projects, will offer support to promising technologies developed by PATH, UW, and other research groups.

▪ Core 3, Clinical Needs Assessment, will focus on identifying the clinical needs where point-of-care diagnostic tests will be used.

▪ Core 4, Training, led by the UW departments of Global Health and Laboratory Medicine, will offer a rigorous training program on diseases of global importance, current and novel diagnostic tests for detection as well as providing health care in low-resource settings.

▪ Core 5, Administration, will coordinate activities through a collaborative steering group.

As it develops, the center will coordinate with other centers sponsored by the NIH to share research and technological findings.

The UW School of Medicine is the top public institution in federal funding for biomedical research.  Among its 1,700 regular faculty and 4,000 clinical faculty are five Nobel Laureates, 30 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 33 members of the Institute of Medicine. For more information, visit

PATH creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions that enable communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health. By collaborating with diverse public- and private-sector partners, we help provide appropriate health technologies and vital strategies that change the way people think and act. Our work improves global health and well-being.

The Center to Advance Point-of-Care Diagnostics for Global Health is 100 percent supported by a grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Anticipated federal funding for the project is $7,990,765 over five years and is eligible for renewal.