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Science Cafe

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Thursday, May 18th 7:00pm-8:30pm Free event

Kick back, relax, grab a drink and a bite to eat at their Science Cafés. These informal science presentations are held in the Daily Planet Café at 7 p.m. Q & A from the audience is encouraged. 

Science Cafe:Developing Ati-body Based Diagnostics forthe Zika Virus

Currently, much Zika testing is conducted via molecular diagnostics that look for the actual virus in the individual. These tests are most accurate in cases where someone was recently exposed, and in most cases, is symptomatic. But because approximately 80 percent of people infected with Zika are asymptomatic, there is a critical need for better, more accurate diagnostics for those people, and those whose potential exposure goes back weeks, months, or even years.

The de Silva Laboratory at the UNC School of Medicine was recently awarded a $3.2 million federal contract to work in close partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop improved serological tests to bolster public health efforts for Zika. A serological test measures the level of antibodies produced by the body, rather than relying on detection of the viral components or the virus itself.

This new approach could be particularly beneficial in differentiating cases of Zika from related viruses such as Dengue fever.

About the Speaker

Matt Collins, MD, PhD, is a fellow in the UNC Institute for Global Heath and Infectious Diseases, and an OIA Global Health Scholar. Collins received his MD from the Medical College of Georgia and his PhD from the University of Georgia. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Boston Medical Center before coming to UNC, where he is a fellow in the lab of Aravinda de Silva, PhD, professor of immunology and microbiology at the UNC School of Medicine.

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