Christopher Vinnard


courtesy Christopher Vinnard

Advanced blood tests help clinicians ascertain whether people with tuberculosis (TB) are responding to medication shortly after administration. For patients in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia where high-tech equipment is unavailable, doctors must rely on an individual’s symptoms to see if drugs are working, losing time in curtailing the infectious disease if they are not. Christopher Vinnard, an infectious disease physician and associate professor at New Jersey Medical School’s Public Health Research Institute, is developing a urine test that would reveal TB patients’ treatment drug levels. His work, funded by a $4 million National Institutes of Health grant, may help the World Health Organization reach its goal of reducing TB deaths by 95 percent by 2035.