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Diagnostics

By developing new methods to more quickly detect diseases such as cancer, pneumonia and flu, scientists at UGA are working to ensure that treatment can begin as early as possible to maximize the likelihood of success. The university’s expertise in nanotechnology, infectious disease and cellular biology combine to make it an emerging leader in diagnostics.

MISSION

EDUCATION: Undergraduate as well as graduate students at UGA work side-by-side with faculty members who are leaders in their fields. They gain hands-on experience in labs conducting cutting-edge science is one of the key differentiators of the learning experience at a major research university, like UGA.

RESEARCH: Diagnostics is a major area of emphasis at the UGA Cancer Center. The university’s Faculty of Infectious Diseases, NanoScale Science and Engineering Center (NanoSEC) and other interdisciplinary efforts also have resulted in the creation of new methods to diagnose diseases such as the flu and pneumonia.

SERVICE: The research advances made at UGA move beyond the lab and into clinical use through the efforts of university’s Technology Commercialization Office. UGA is among the best in the nation compared with all U.S. universities, hospitals and research institutions for licenses and options executed. Over 200 products generated by UGA research are on the market, with more to come.

OPPORTUNITIES

The UGA Cancer Center

The UGA Cancer Center was founded in 2004 to bring the talents of the University’s researchers to the fight against cancer. It includes faculty members from seven of the University’s schools and colleges, all of whom take a broad, multidisciplinary approach to fighting the disease.

Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases

CTEGD is a university-wide, interdisciplinary center established to foster research, education and service related to tropical and emerging infectious diseases. Faculty have a strong foundation of parasitology, immunology, cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics.

Faculty of Infectious Diseases

The Faculty of Infectious Diseases addresses infectious disease threats to species and economies worldwide by integrating multidisciplinary research in animal, human, and ecosystem health, and by developing successful countermeasures, including vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center

The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center is developing new materials and devices at nanometer scales to address emerging research and developing needs in sensing and diagnostics, biomedical imaging, drug and vaccine development and cancer treatment, among others.

Institute of Bioinformatics (IOB)

Researchers in the Institute of Bioinformatics are using advanced computers and mathematical techniques to analyze vast quantities of genetic data to reveal markers for disease that can be used to develop new diagnostic tests and treatments.

IMPACT

December 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases

UGA researchers find algal ancestor is key to how deadly pathogens proliferate

Long ago, when life on Earth was in its infancy, a group of small single-celled algae propelled themselves through the vast prehistoric ocean by beating whip like tails called flagella. It's a relatively unremarkable tale, except that now, more than 800 million years later, these organisms have evolved into parasites that threaten human health, and their algal past in the ocean may be the key to stopping them.

December 2012 | College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Public Health | Department of Environmental Health Science

UGA scientists test new toxicant detection tool, links to abnormal fetal development

For more than 40 years, Bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA, was used in everything from plastic baby bottles and the lining of metal food containers to dental sealants. When scientists began seeing a connection between BPA and abnormal sperm and egg development, it set off worldwide public health concerns.

November 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Computer Science

UGA researcher receives NSF CAREER award to map brain

A University of Georgia researcher who recently demonstrated a new way to map the human brain has been granted a CAREER award by the National Science Foundation to widen the scope of his research. Tianming Liu, assistant professor of computer science in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, will map the nerve fiber connection patterns between different brain regions-called nodes or landmarks-and use the maps to identify landmarks common to all healthy human brains.

November 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Cancer Center

Detecting silent killers: UGA researchers receive $4.1 million to diagnose elusive cancers

Ovarian and pancreatic cancers are among the most deadly, not because they are impossible to cure, but because they are difficult to find. There are no screening tests that can reliably detect their presence in early stages, and most diagnoses are made after the disease has already spread to lymph nodes and vital organs.

July 2012 | College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Engineering, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center

UGA researchers develop rapid diagnostic test for pathogens, contaminants

Using nanoscale materials, researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a single-step method to rapidly and accurately detect viruses, bacteria and chemical contaminants.

May 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences |

GPS for the brain: UGA researchers develop new brain map

University of Georgia researchers have developed a map of the human brain that shows great promise as a new guide to the inner workings of the body's most complex and critical organ.

March 2012 | Office of the VP of Research | Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center

Big science on a small scale

UGA physicist Yiping Zhao says nanoscience is big science—the kind that will change lives. Its nearly invisible scale is precisely what makes its potential so tremendous.

March 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Odum School of Ecology

Can marine life catch your germs?

The spread of lethal diseases from animals to humans has long been an issue of great concern to public health officials. But what about diseases that spread in the other direction, from humans to wildlife? UGA researchers explored this possibility.

March 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Cellular Biology

Directing traffic

A new University of Georgia study published in the journal Nature has identified a critical enzyme that keeps traffic flowing in the right direction in the nervous system, and the finding could eventually lead to new treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

April 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | College of Veterinary Medicine

Dog diagnosis

A new UGA study provides a rare and comprehensive look at causes of death in more than 80 breeds. Because the building blocks of the dog genome and the human genome are the same, understanding the genetic basis of disease in dogs can inform human medicine.

March 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Institute of Bioinformatics

Early detection of gastric cancer

Early detection of cancer may eventually become as easy as taking a home pregnancy test, according to new UGA research.

March 2012 | College of Education | Department of Kinesiology

Heart of the matter

A new long-term study published by researchers at the University of Georgia and others suggests that waist circumference, rather than the commonly used body mass index, is a more accurate indicator of cardiovascular (and overall) health.

March 2012 | College of Veterinary Medicine | Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center

Researchers hit a goldmine

UGA researchers have discovered a veritable medical gold mine. Nanoparticles of gold can help accurately detect influenza in a matter of minutes.

March 2012 | College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Engineering | Department of Physics and Astronomy

Seeing things in a different light

University of Georgia researchers have developed a new material that emits a long-lasting, near-infrared glow—potentially revolutionizing medical diagnostics and providing a foundation for highly effective solar cells.

April 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Psychology

Study suggests blood test for Alzheimer’s possible

Researchers have revealed a direct relationship between two specific antibodies and the severity of Alzheimer's disease symptoms, raising hopes that a diagnostic blood test for the devastating disorder is within reach.

April 2012 | College of Engineering |

UGA researcher working to speed blood testing

The wait for some blood test results may be reduced from weeks to hours, thanks to research being conducted at UGA.

April 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

UGA researchers develop non-invasive early diagnostic test for gastric cancer

Early detection of cancer may eventually become as easy as taking a home pregnancy test, according to new UGA research.

April 2012 | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Microbiology

Quick pneumonia test

UGA researchers have developed a technique that can diagnose a common type of pneumonia within minutes, potentially replacing existing tests that can take several days for results.

April 2012 | Odum School of Ecology |

Unlocking the secrets of cross-species rabies transmission

A UGA study provides among the first estimates for any infectious disease of how often a disease can be transmitted across species in complex, multi-host communities and the likelihood of disease establishment in a new host species.