The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), announced an award for the bilateral project partnered by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, University of California San Diego (UCSD) and Stanford University. The project is titled "Establishment of an Indo-US Molecular Biomarker Knowledge Network for COVID-19".

The Principal Investigators from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham are Dr. Shantikumar Nair (Dean of Research, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Director of Amrita Center for Nanosciences) and Dr. Ekanath Rangan (Physician Scientist Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research (AIMS)). 

The Principal Investigators from the US are Dr. Mohit Jain (University of California San Diego (UCSD)); Dr. Ramesh Rao (University of California San Diego (UCSD)) and Dr. Shriram Nallamshetty (Stanford University).

The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) is an autonomous bilateral organization jointly funded by the Governments of India and the USA that promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation through substantive interaction among governments, academia and industries. 

Project Abstract: Establishment of an Indo-US Molecular Biomarker Knowledge Network for COVID-19

We focus on the discovery of molecular biomarkers of COVID-19 with respect to internal and external exposure factors called exposomes, that can provide early warning for COVID-19 susceptibility and severity, as well as targets for therapeutic modalities. Our approach:

  1. Biochemical profiling of patients for molecules such as inflammatory markers, cytokines, proteins, metabolites and toxins using mass spectrometry;
  2. Clinical evaluation of the patients to quantify severity levels;
  3. Derivation of data-driven biomarker-suggestive correlation between the molecules and severity quantization;
  4. Integration into EMR Hospital Information Systems for inclusion into standardized clinical patient consultation protocols;
  5. Building capacity in India for robotic arm mass-spectrometry for ultra-high throughput testing of Bio-Monitoring micro samples. The most impactful outcomes are novel therapeutic approaches to safeguard patients from advancing to severity, and instead, reroute them to sound recovery.

UC San Diego has built a robotic high throughput mass-spec for exposome determination. Amrita will do the sequential and concurrent investigation of patient samples and vitals (through wearables and remote monitoring), with the overall objective of identifying suspected Early Warning Severity Biomarkers (EWSB) in the exposome. Stanford will develop machine learning algorithms for confirming or controverting EWSB suspects and track the clinical trajectory of each patient.

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