Germ Fighter

Finding the source of outbreaks can prevent people from getting sick. One professor is making that search take less time.

The longer it takes to trace the source of illnesses, the greater the number of people at risk of becoming sick.

So David Hess, an associate professor and director of SCU’s biotechnology program, is reducing to 48 hours the time it takes to detect bacteria such as E. coli.

Using genome sequencing work done by Mark Pandori, director of the Alameda County Public Health Laboratory, software developed by Hess quickly identifies bacteria and—very soon—its antibiotic resistance.

This is the future of containing bacteria-related illness outbreaks, Hess says. “We are the first to really have this in place where we are actually reporting medical results—and not just for research.”

post-image Illustration by Andy Dearwater
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