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C-THAN Receives up to $8 Million in Funding over Five Years

C-THAN is one of six centers around the country to receive the award

The Center for Innovation in Point-of-Care Technologies for HIV/AIDS and Emerging Infectious Diseases at Northwestern University (C-THAN), housed within Northwestern Engineering’s Center for Innovation Global Health Technologies (CIGHT), has received up to $8 million in renewal funding over five years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Launched in 2018 with a $7.5 million grant, C-THAN supports collaborations between McCormick School of Engineering researchers and university partners in Africa to foster an ecosystem of point-of-care (POC) technology development to better detect and monitor HIV and common fatal comorbidities and complications, including tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

From left: Sally McFall, Robert Murphy, Chad Achenbach

Sally McFall, research professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern Engineering and codirector of CIGHT, serves as a co-principal investigator on the new grant. She is joined by co-principal investigators Robert Murphy, John Philip Phair Professor of Infectious Diseases, professor of medicine, and biomedical engineering, and executive director of the Havey Institute for Global Health; and Chad Achenbach, associate professor of medicine and biomedical engineering.

C-THAN will use the renewal funds to address three primary aims:

  1. Develop a comprehensive research program to identify and support promising point-of-care (POC) technologies for HIV/AIDS and its co-morbidities, and emerging infectious diseases to address needs in low- or middle-income countries
  2. Build an international and domestic platform to support clinical translation and validation studies on POC technologies
  3. Facilitate and enhance interdisciplinary training on the needs assessment, development, evaluation, and commercialization of POC technologies

C-THAN will continue to develop innovative POC devices and assays essential for improved diagnosis and monitoring of HIV, its co-morbidities, and emerging infectious diseases,” Murphy said. “In this new round of funding, we have expanded our network to a total of nine African sites and scope of work to include new diseases that may threaten the global population. Additionally, we will actively continue to enhance the technical capacity of our African partners and aim to develop and commercialize products in the geographic areas which need them the most.”

C-THAN is one of six technology research and development centers around the country to receive the award. The centers comprise the Point-of-Care Technology Research Network (POCTRN) and will parlay the momentum of the original network established in 2007 by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). In the first year of the new five-year grant period, these six centers will share $9.6 million in total awards.

In addition to NIBIB, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Cancer Institute, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Fogarty International Center, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, Office of AIDS Research, and Office of Disease Prevention at NIH are supporting POCTRN. 

C-THAN is funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering grant #U54EB027049.