Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Dimple Amitha Garuadapuri Rose Hills

Developing Imaging Probes for in vivo Bacterial Infection PET Imaging

With the rise of antibacterial resistance and high prevalence of infectious diseases around the world, the ability to quickly and accurately diagnose these infections is very critical. Yet, there are many challenges with regard to identifying bacterial infections with high specificity (ruling out other diseases) and sensitivity (sensing infections when they are still small-scale). Imaging bacterial infections through PET scans is a potential solution to this issue, however many of the imaging tracers developed to do so lack the specificity to rule out cancer and inflammation, and lack the sensitivity to detect smaller infections in vivo. This first challenge leads to needing more invasive procedures to distinguish between these three pathologies, while the second results in diagnosis at a later start of infection. Maltodextrin is a sugar that is highly specific to a transport mechanism unique to bacteria.The Murthy lab synthesized two Maltodextrin-based imaging probes that allow us to image bacterial infections with unprecedented specificity and sensitivity. This project aims to design better probes to optimize the uptake by the bacteria and enhance sensitivity.

Message To Sponsor

I am very grateful to the Rose Hills foundation for supporting students through this fellowship. Thank you so much for providing this opportunity to be able to explore a scientific niche that interests me while expanding my skills in conducting research, interacting with a community of like-minded individuals, and being supported financially to do so relatively worry-free. I look forward to learning so much and continuing my educational career this summer through research!
Major: Bioengineering
Mentor: Niren Murthy
Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills
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