What attracted you to studying TB?
“Many people think of Tuberculosis as a disease of the past, however it kills over one million people a year. With rising drug resistance, that number is likely to increase unless we do something about it.”
What are you trying to do?
“TB grows very slowly and therefore culture-based diagnostics (which is the gold standard) are also very slow. I’m working on developing a method that bypasses culture and works directly on sputum. This would drastically reduce diagnostic turnaround times, turning something that currently takes weeks into 2-3 days. Plus, it has the potential to become portable and easily taken to remote communities.”
What would your research mean for Manitobans?
“Northern and remote communities hold most of our TB burden so a rapid test that could be employed up North would have a huge impact. While TB may not affect us all, we all know someone or have ourselves been affected by poor lung health. Funding research into lung health is crucial to improve the lives of all Manitobans.”
How does support impact your research?
“I truly was shocked when I received the Manitoba Research Grant. I really was not expecting to be chosen and I am still so honoured and humbled. Research is a fundamental part of improving not only lung health, but all aspects of health, and it means the world to know I have the support of my fellow Manitobans behind this work.”