Rice statisticians Katherine Ensor and Loren Hopkins and civil and environmental engineer Lauren Stadler are co-authors of a commentary in Nature Medicine that issues an urgent call to scale up wastewater monitoring to detect early signs of disease. The multi-institution group brought together by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute argues that its success in providing early warning of COVID-19 outbreaks should serve as a model to detect and contain additional health threats, including monkeypox. The Rice team and the Houston Health Department — which Hopkins also serves as chief environmental science officer — were recently named one of two inaugural National Wastewater Surveillance System Centers of Excellence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the center’s website at hou-wastewater-epi.org.
A project born at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen and supported by the Rice360 Institute for Global Health Technologies has been chosen as a finalist in the prestigious University of California, San Francisco-Stanford University Pediatric Device Consortium Accelerator Pitch Competition. The ArtemisHFNC, a low-cost, universal high flow nasal cannula developed by a senior team in 2020-21, is designed to administer oxygen therapy in neonates and children and is one of 12 projects competing for $400,000 in prizes to be awarded Oct. 7 in San Francisco. Members of the Let’s Get This Breath team — Hannah Andersen, Keeler Gonzales, Dora Huang, Carrigan Hudgins, Eric Torres and Hoang Vu — were advised by Sabia Abidi, an assistant teaching professor of bioengineering, and sponsored by Dr. Rohith Malya, now clinical lead of Rice 360’s Specialized Unit for Respiratory Research. The product is in development by Rice alum John Zhang and Larry Kiliszewski, president of the Zewski Corporation. Dr. Nick Ettinger of Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine is also advising.