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Rapid Detection of Tuberculosis -SCSU-New Haven iGEM

Southern Connecticut State University
Derby, Connecticut
BiologyMedicine
DOI: 10.18258/7393
Grant: iGEM Synthetic Biology
$2,415
Raised
120%
Funded on 8/26/16
Successfully Funded
  • $2,415
    pledged
  • 120%
    funded
  • Funded
    on 8/26/16

About This Project

The World Health Organization reports 9.6 million new Tuberculosis cases in 2014. As a global health issue one of the major concerns is easy and quick detection. Our iGEM team's goal is a rapid detection method using gases called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) that a person infected with Tuberculosis emits. Several VOC's have shown to be specific to Tuberculosis infection and we will accomplish our goal with a synthetic bacterium that detects and responds to these compounds.

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What is the context of this research?

VOC's are of great interest for the diagnosis of respiratory diseases. Studies have shown the ability to distinguished patients with active TB, inactive TB and healthy controls using only exhaled breath. These studies utilized gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify the VOC's. However, a previous iGEM team Peking 2013 developed a series of VOC sensors in E. coli. With some changes our team thought we could point the sensors at the TB specific VOC's.

What is the significance of this project?

Some of the current common methods of TB diagnosis listed by the CDC require laboratory equipment or a trained health professional. Some of these methods may be expensive or time consuming. For example, a Mantoux tuberculin skin test requires an injection of tuberculin and identification by a professional. Chest X-rays are fairly cheap, however, they are difficult to interpret. Cultured Sputum samples are slow to grow and can only be done in specific labs.

What are the goals of the project?

Active TB has shown to emit specific Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). We believe engineering an organism to detect and respond to some of these compounds will produce an effective and rapid test compared to current methods. Our project will focus on 1-Methylnaphthalene, one of the VOC's. Our engineered organism will be able to detect and in response, produce an easily identifiable color output.

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The final phase of the iGEM competition is the Jamboree which occurs in Boston Massachusetts at the end of October. The Jamboree is where we will present our research with both a poster and presentation. One of the core duties of a scientist is to share their work, to communicate. The Jamboree will host every iGEM team this year and every team will share the work they've done over the summer.

Endorsed by

Half of this student iGEM team has taken a full course in Synthetic Biology, and Bryan, the team leader, has significant experience in independent research in microbiology and bioinformatics. Unbelievably, close to 3.3 million tuberculosis cases per year are missed in diagnosis. A critical piece of the solution to stopping TB, is to develop a more accurate, faster, portable, and low-cost TB diagnostic device that can be locally manufactured. This project fulfills the preceding criteria, and I enthusiastically support it.

Meet the Team

Bryan Pasqualucci
Bryan Pasqualucci

Affiliates

Southern Connecticut State University
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Karalyn Farr
Karalyn Farr

Affiliates

Southern Connecticut State University
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Julio Badillo
Julio Badillo
Student

Affiliates

Southern Connecticut State University
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Hafssa Chbihi
Hafssa Chbihi

Affiliates

Southern Connecticut University Al-Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
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Thomas Hoang
Thomas Hoang

Affiliates

Southern Connecticut State University
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Joseph Quick
Joseph Quick

Affiliates

Southern Connecticut State University
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Patrick Flynn
Patrick Flynn

Affiliates

Southern Connecticut State University
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Rye Howard-Stone
Rye Howard-Stone

Affiliates

Southern Connecticut State University
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Christopher Wojtas
Christopher Wojtas

Affiliates

Southern Connecticut State University
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Zachary Matto
Zachary Matto
CPhT

Affiliates

CVS Pharmacy, Southern Connecticut State University, Notre Dame West Haven
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Team Bio

Our current membership consists of ten students from Southern Connecticut State University. Students involved in our team come from a variety of disciplines including, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Many of our members are have taken a full semester course in synthetic biology giving us the knowledge to accomplish our project goals. Our advisers are the two professors who teach the course and have attended synthetic biology workshops.

Bryan Pasqualucci

Undergraduate Senior at Southern Connecticut State University. Student leader of SCSU-New Haven's 2016 iGEM team. Taken lab courses in Synthetic Biology, Organic Chemistry, Genomics and Genetics. Participated in HHMI SEA-PHAGES program and discovered and annotated the Mycobateriophage Wintermute.

I have some experience with Python and R and enjoy programming.

I hope to go into the bioinformatics field.

Karalyn Farr

Undergraduate senior at Southern Connecticut State University. She has taken lab courses in synthetic biology, plant and animal physiology, physics, genetics, and chemistry. Upon graduating in spring 2017 she will attend graduate school pursuing a masters in the art of teaching.

Julio Badillo

I'm a 5th year student from Southern Conn. State University. I am a biology major who loves the Star Wars franchise.

I've taken various classes throughout my undergraduate year, these include: Zoology, Botany, Genetic, Genomics I, Vertebrate Zoology, Histology, Plant Physiology as well as General Chemistry I & II and Organic Chemistry I & II.

Hafssa Chbihi

Undergraduate senior at Southern Connecticut State University.

Double major in Biology and French, double minor in Chemistry and Mathematics. I have taken classes in synthetic biology, organic chemistry, genetics, and microbiology.

I speak English, French, and most Arabic dialects.

Thomas Hoang

Undergraduate senior at Southern Connecticut State University. Previously majored in Business Administration, now majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry.

Joseph Quick

Undergraduate going into his senior year at Southern Connecticut State University.

Majoring in Bio-molecular Chemistry

Have had extensive lab experience in biological, chemical, and physical laboratories. HAZMAT certified

Career aspirations in the neuro-chemical field

Patrick Flynn

I am a senior undergraduate at Southern Connecticut State University with lab experience in, Microbiology, Chemistry, and Synthetic Biology.

Rye Howard-Stone

Senior at Southern Connecticut State University.

Physics and Mathematics dual major Computer Science minor,Concentration in engineering

I'd like to make in impact in the fields of bioinformatics and Synthetic biology.

Christopher Wojtas

Senior undergraduate at Southern CT State University. Majoring in biology and minoring in French. I have taken synthetic biology, organic chemistry, genetics, and prospectively taking immunology, microbiology, & genomics in the Fall semester. After graduating, I will be attending University of Bridgeport for naturopathic medicine and nutrition studies.

I also speak French and Polish. Fun fact is that I love ballroom dancing and creativity in general.

Zachary Matto

I'm a nationally certified pharmacy technician and avid scientist, and a 4th year SCSU Biochemistry major who speaks English and Italian. I have lab experience in chemistry, physics, zoology and microbiology. Open-eyed and questioning everything around me.


Project Backers

  • 47Backers
  • 120%Funded
  • $2,415Total Donations
  • $51.38Average Donation
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