Skip to main content

Disease Diagnostic Inventors Challenge


Writer(s): Steve Scherer

Several scientists with Purdue Chemistry connections participated in the June 28-29, 2018 Disease Diagnostic Inventors Challenge.

Zane Baird, staff scientist at Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (Ph.D. 2015, Cooks) along with Christina Ferreira, a lipidomics research scientist in Bindley Bioscience Center and a Cooks collaborator, were members of a team awarded $30,000 for “Precision diagnostics for difficult to treat urinary tract infections through the development of a mass spectrometry-based technique to identify molecular signatures of antibiotic resistant bacteria.”

Valentina Pirro, an assistant research scientist in the Cooks Group, was the member of a team awarded $10,000 for “Design and development of a specialized sampling kit for molecular diagnosis of atopic dermatitis for veterinary and human clinical applications.”

Judges for the event included: Graham Cooks (PU-Chem), Rainer Fischer (CEO/CSO Indiana Biosciences Research Institute), Richard Kuhn (PU-Biol), Sanjeev Narayanan (PU- Head of CPB), Anantha Shekhar (IUSM/Indiana CTSI), Val Watts (PU-MCMP), Chris Welch (Founder, Welch Innovations, Inc.) and Jeff Zaleski (IU-Bloomington).

The event was sponsored by: Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease; Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, College of Science, Purdue University; Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute; College of Pharmacy, Purdue University; Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University; Indiana Biosciences Research Institute; Indiana University – Bloomington; Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; and The University of Notre Dame.


Zane Baird (Indiana Biosciences Research Institute) and Christina Ferreira (Bindley Bioscience)


Pamela Thomas (Notre Dame), Jackeline Franco (Purdue Vet Med), and Valentina Pirro (Purdue Chemistry)