PandemicTech awards Amal Kasry an Innovation Fellowship for 2020
Dr. Amal Kasry has been awarded a PandemicTech Innovation Fellowship for 2020 in support of a joint project between the British University in Egypt (BUE) and the American University in Cairo (AUC), together with their industrial partner Nano Gate, to create a novel optical sensor that can be used for earlier detection and diagnosis of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has shown to be a highly infectious virus in comparison with other known strains of coronaviruses. Current techniques to detect the virus mainly rely on the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, which requires having a sample carefully taken from the throat of the patient, can take days to be analyzed, and does not always provide highly accurate results. Together with her colleagues from AUC, Dr. Kasry’s aim is to develop a specific and sensitive optical sensor to identify COVID-19 by detecting its Spike protein. Both teams have long experience in developing optical biosensors, and their work will target the development of a sensor that can give results in less than one hour and would help detect the virus at early stage, potentially even before showing any symptoms.
Dr. Kasry is currently the Director of the Nanotechnology Research Centre (NTRC) at the British University in Egypt. She is a physicist who has been fascinated by developing high sensitivity biosensors to detect diseases at their earliest stages. After earning Bachelor and MSc degrees in Physics from Cairo and Ain Shams Universities, she won a fellowship from the Max Planck Society and obtained her PhD in Materials Science and Biophysics from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. Her research group focuses on biosensing technologies, protein interactions, and nanomaterials and their applications in the field of biotechnology. She maintains several ongoing international projects with partners in Australia and Austria.
The PandemicTech Innovation Fellowship 2020 is a US $100,000 initiative to identify and support the most promising global health security innovators leading the fight against pandemic infectious disease threats. Launched in 2016, PandemicTech is a virtual technology incubator based in Austin, Texas, USA, that provides global health security innovators with the mentorship, expertise, and funding needed to bring their inventive ideas from concept to real-world execution.