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Shubhra Gangopadhyay and Carole McArthur. At left is Cynthia Helphingstine.

Professor Shubhra Gangopadhyay, C.W. LaPierre Endowed Chair in electrical and computer engineering, center, and Carole McArthur, professor of dentistry at the UMKC Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences and adjunct professor at the MU School of Medicine, right, received a Coulter Award for detection of tuberculosis infection. At left is MU Coulter Program Director Cynthia Helphingstine.

Electrical and computer engineering Professor Shubhra Gangopadhyay, is partnering with Carole McArthur, professor of dentistry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, on a project funded by the Coulter Translational Partnership Program titled “Identifying Tuberculosis.”

“The Coulter project is to take our [sensor] platform and identify tuberculosis in low concentrations,” Gangopadhyay, the C.W. LaPierre Endowed Chair, said. “If we can detect low concentrations, we can have early detection.”

The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation funds the program to aid biomedical research projects, hopefully pushing them from the laboratory stage to full-on medical innovations.

Gangopadhyay’s sensor work and McArthur’s background in diagnostic detection systems and immunology made for a logical pairing, leading to the development of an inexpensive soft lithographic process meant to detect tuberculosis. The system potentially could have a variety of useful applications beyond tuberculosis detection, as well.

“There’s a whole lot of interaction between the detection platform, the hardware, and I have kind of the software in terms of the immune system and the kind of genes we need to look for if you’re going to do genotypic testing,” McArthur said.

“This kind of relationship improves [the science] and brings a sort of rigor to the data you wouldn’t normally have.”