Dr. Weian Zhao is an Associate Professor at the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biological Chemistry, and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Zhao is also the founder of Velox Biosystems, LLC and Baylx, Inc, start-up companies that aim to develop rapid and sensitive diagnostics and stem cell therapeutics, respectively. Dr. Zhao’s research aims to elucidate and eventually control the fate of transplanted stem cells and to develop novel miniaturized devices for disease diagnosis and monitoring. Dr. Zhao has received numerous awards including the MIT’s Technology Review TR35 Award: the world’s top 35 innovators under the age of 35 and NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.
Sepsis affects 30 million people worldwide and kills more than 258,000 Americans every year. Sepsis is the most expensive condition managed in U.S. hospitals, costing the U.S. economy approximately $20 billion a year. In particular, sepsis is the number one killer of children and infants worldwide as their immune system is not yet fully developed. In the U.S., 42,000 children develop sepsis each year resulting in 4,400 deaths (Data from the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention). The mortality rate associated with sepsis is 25%–70%. Timing is critical for effective sepsis management: patient survival decreases by 10% for each hour of delay to receive correct antibiotics during the initial several hours after infection. The present gold standard, bacterial cultures coupled with antibiotic susceptibility testing, requires several days to obtain a result. Dr. Zhao’s team is developing a rapid diagnostic tool to detect sepsis at the point-of-care in as little as one hour, potentially saving tens of thousands of infants and young children.
3027 Gross Hall
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