Egyptian-American doctor helps to develop new COVID-19 test kit

By Al-Masry Al-Youm

Johns Hopkins University announced earlier in March that it had made a breakthrough that would allow testing 1,000 people for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) per day, reducing pressure on laboratories and allowing governments to better isolate those infected with the respiratory illness and control its spread.

Two specialists in microbiology developed the new test, one of them is Karen Carroll and the other is Egyptian-American Dr. Heba Mostafa.

The test, which Johns Hopkins used for the first time on March 11, analyzes nasal or oral swabs, and Johns Hopkins hopes it will help to address the need for wider COVID-19 testing.

Heba Mostafa (front), director of the molecular virology lab and assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Karen Carroll, director of the Division of Medical Microbiology and professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, developed a test to diagnose COVID-19.

“We will be able to diagnose more cases. This will allow the control of exposure,” Mostafa said.

The World Health Organization has stressed that large-scale testing, isolation of confirmed cases, and efforts to trace those who have come in contact with confirmed cases remain the most important methods of containing the coronavirus outbreak.

Mostafa commented previously that testing could reach 1,000 people per day in April.

Conducting in-house tests reduces the burden on government laboratories, with the test results coming up in about 24 hours. Doctors hope to shorten this period to about three hours.

In the following lines, we know who Dr. Heba Mostafa is Director of the Molecular Virology Laboratory:

Dr. Heba Mostafa, assistant professor of pathology, received her doctorate in the Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University in 2004, followed by a period of training and residency in clinical pathology at the university.

She moved to the United States where she obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology in 2014 at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.

During the doctoral thesis, Dr. Heba Mostafa worked on studying the interaction between the herpes simplex virus of the first type and the host cell, where this research revealed various innovative aspects about the regulation of the functions of different viral proteins, their interaction with host cellular factors, and how this translates into effective viral transcription Virus Activation, this work was published in 10 peer-reviewed publications, presented at over 12 local and national meetings.

During 3 years, Dr. Heba pursued a postdoctoral research fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, where she focused on the study of influencing the spread of influenza viruses and its relationship to the immune system and its spread in research conducted in cooperation with experts in the field of influenza and infectious diseases.

Upon completion of the research fellowship, Dr. Heba completed the two-year Clinical Microbiology Fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), New York, during which period Dr. participated in the implementation of the complete genome sequencing, and by using this complete genome sequencing, this infiltration can infect viruses in hospitals And distinguishing internal pathogens.

She was board certified in Medical Microbiology by the American Board of Medical Microbiology.

Dr. Mustafa was appointed as Assistant Professor of Pathology and Director of the Molecular Virology Department at the Medical Microbiology Laboratory in July 2019, and in a short time at Johns Hopkins University she did many research and initiated many interdisciplinary research collaborations.

It is also developing a research program that focuses on implementing full genome sequencing in the clinical virology laboratory with a focus on studying viral genomic evolutionary events.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

Image: People wear protective face masks due to coronavirus concerns in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Read from source Egypt Independent

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