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  • TB Kit Test Idea Scoops Top Prize
    Left to right: Henry Bodkin, Health and Science Correspondent, The Telegraph; Rachel Riley, Presenter; Eleanor Wilson, STEM Awards 2019 winner Aberystwyth University; Jo Morrell, Managing Editor, The Telegraph and John Howie MBE, Chief Executive, Marine, Babcock International

TB Kit Test Idea Scoops Top Prize

Aug 10 2019 Read 1929 Times

Aberystwyth biochemistry student Eleanor Wilson has won the top prize in The Telegraph STEM Awards 2019 for her idea on a portable test to detect TB in humans. During the third year of her MBiol degree at Aberystwyth’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), Eleanor proposed a portable TB test device equipped with CRISPR gene editing technology, which would produce visual results – much like a pregnancy test.

Selected from a field of over 10,000 entrants for this year’s award, Eleanor initially won the Healthcare category of the awards in April 2019.

A month later, she was named overall winner across all five categories of The Telegraph STEM Awards at a special ceremony in London picking up a prize of £25,000 as well as bespoke work placement with global healthcare company GSK.

Speaking about her submission, Eleanor said: “I think CRISPR gene editing has huge diagnostic potential - but we currently diagnose disease in a similar way that we did in the 20th century, largely by looking at symptoms. You don’t need trained laboratory staff or facilities to administer it, it’s easily transportable and relatively cheap. For rural settings, you could transport multiple kits via drones.”

Professor Iain Donnison, Head of IBERS at Aberystwyth University, said: “We extend our warmest congratulations to Eleanor on her outstanding success in this year’s Telegraph STEM Awards. She is an exceptionally bright and able student who has thrived in the research-intensive environment here in IBERS. We look forward now to seeing Eleanor further develop her inspirational idea for harnessing the latest technology to detect TB in humans and make an impact on real lives.”

Now in their sixth year, the Telegraph’s annual STEM Awards offer undergraduates the chance to prove their talent to some of the biggest names in industry.


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