Grand Challenges Canada Program Award Winners – “Stars in Global Health”

Grand Challenges Canada “Stars in Global Health” Program Award Winners: Dr. Ravi Selvaganapathy and Dr. Leyla Soleymani from McMaster University

Dr. Ravi Selvaganapathy, McMaster University

Dr. Selvaganapathy

"Simple, fast and inexpensive detection of viability and drug resistance for Tuberculosis bacteria through miniaturization and parallelization”

Cell culture is the gold standard for in TB diagnosis. It is inexpensive, provides viability and drug resistance information, but takes 4-6 weeks. Through miniaturization and parallelization of sample analysis, we propose to reduce the assay time to a few hours and obtain viability information.

Click to view Dr. Selvaganapathy's video


Dr. Ravi Selvaganapathy is currently an Associate Professor in the departments of mechanical and biomedical engineering at McMaster University, Canada. He is also the Canada Research Chair in Biomicrofluidics. He completed his B.S. in chemical and electrochemical engineering in 1998 from Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi, India. He obtained his M.S and Ph.D in electrical engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2002 for his work on developing microfluidic components for genetic analysis. He subsequently was a postdoctoral fellow at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, USA, working on protein separation and detection in microdevices. He joined McMaster University in 2005, where he has established a research center for electrofluidics. The laboratory is active in investigating single phase and two phase electrofluidic phenomena with applications in electronic cooling, drug discovery, drug delivery, environmental diagnosis and microreaction systems. He has over 70 publications in journals and conferences, has written 5 invited book chapters and been issued 4 US patents related to MEMS/microfluidic devices. Some of his research has been featured in scientific media such as Popular Mechanics as wells as in mainstream media such as CBC News, and in newspapers across Canada. He also received the Early Researchers Award from the ministry of research and innovation in 2010 and has been named as a Raising Star in Global Health by Grand Challenges Canada.

Dr. Leyla Soleymani, McMaster University

Dr. Soleymani

“Fast, affordable, easy-to-use TB and MDR-TB handheld tester for use in poor resource settings.”

The incidence of multi-drug resistance tuberculosis is rising in many resource-poor regions of the world, significantly complicating the management of this deadly disease. Dr. Soleymani’s research group at McMaster is developing a handheld electronic platform for inexpensive diagnosis and treatment selection of TB, which will save lives and improve health in the most resource poor regions of the world.

Click to view Dr. Soleymani's video


Leyla Soleymani received the B.Eng. degree from McGill University, the M.Sc. degree from University of Southern California, and the Ph.D. degree from University of Toronto. Throughout her research career, Soleymani has taken a multi-disciplinary approach in combining innovations in physics, electrical engineering, materials science, and biochemistry for solving problems in healthcare. She is currently an assistant professor at McMaster University, with research interests in areas of biosensing and nanofabrication. More specifically, she is interested developing in-vivo and in-vitro diagnostic platforms for early disease detection, modeling nano- and micro-scale sensors, fabricating hierarchical and hybrid materials using chemical deposition methods with nanometer resolution, and studying materials growth using in-situ techniques.

Other links to these stories:
CBC-Hamilton office
McMaster University

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