Twice in 2019, Nick Adams and his colleagues applied for federal grant money to develop a rapid, precise, in-office test for respiratory infections. This test would skip the time-consuming and expensive steps of purifying the samples for testing or sending them to a lab. Doctors and their patients would not have to wait days, sometimes weeks for results.
What a difference a year makes.
In June 2020 the reviewers were more receptive, and in September the NIAID awarded the team a five-year grant of nearly $4 million to develop a panel of quick tests to diagnose COVID-19 infections, seasonal flu and other respiratory illnesses. Adams, research assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering, had updated the application with information about the COVID-19 pandemic, shortages of testing components and an anticipated surge in demand for more widespread, frequent testing.