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Portable diagnostic device lands researcher Newton Prize nomination

Newton Prize 920x540

A portable device which allows chicken farmers to quickly test their birds for disease has scooped its inventor a prestigious Newton Prize nomination.

Prof Wamadeva Balachandran, Professor of Electronic Systems at Brunel University London, created a handheld portable device for in-farm use to test for deadly pathogens on chicken farms in the Philippines. The “near patient molecular diagnostic” tool can connect to a smartphone and return results within an hour, potentially allowing authorities to stamp out the spread of an infectious disease before it can take hold.

Now, Prof Balachandran is in line for a potential share of the £1m Newton Prize, an annual award that recognises research done in support of the economic and social development goals in one of the Newton Fund’s partner countries – which in 2019 were China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Winners will be announced at a special ceremony in November, where the £1m prize will be shared amongst the four most impressive projects.

"It's a fantastic achievement for Prof Balachandran and I couldn't be prouder that he and his team have been nominated for a prestigious Newton Prize,” said Prof Geoff Rodgers, Vice Provost for Research at Brunel.

“The work they've done developing diagnostic tools has been ground-breaking, and I'd be absolutely delighted to see their important work ultimately scoop the prize."

For further information on the ‘Low-cost Diagnostic Platform for Detection of Poultry Infectious Pathogens’ project, please visit: brunel.ac.uk/research/Projects/Low-cost-Portable-Molecular-Diagnostic-Platform-for-Rapid-Detection-of-Poultry-Infectious-Pathogens

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