CHENNAI: Sultan Khetani, a postgraduate student of the department of Biomedical Engineering at SRM University, and his project instructor Dr Shafee Hadi of Harvard Medical School have won the BRIght Futures Prize 2014 for their research on fighting HIV/AIDS using a low cost flexible microchip.
The BRIght Futures Prize is an award with a cash prize of $100,000, for which more than 200 teams from Harvard and MIT affiliates had competed. The winning team was selected based on online voting conducted across the world. The team had attracted votes from approximately120 countries worldwide as well as the 50 states of the United States of America. The highest numbers of votes were acquired from India and the US.
Sultan Khetani, a Semester Abroad Programme (SAP) student at SRM, joined the research team at Harvard led by Dr Shafee Hadi, to work on the project ‘Low Cost Hand held Microchip Device for Rapid HIV Detection and Treatment Monitoring through Viral Load Measurement on Paper’.
The device can be compared to a weapon that can potentially revolutionise HIV management globally, as it will facilitate rapid, simple and inexpensive early diagnosis of HIV infection and treatment failure for millions of people in urgent need.
The research work by Dr Hadi Shafiee and Sultan Khetani focuses on a technology that is in the form of a low-cost, flexible microchip which enables HIV viral load testing.
This platform technology is unique with broad applications, and can be adopted to detect multiple infectious diseases such as hepatitis, influenza, and herpes.

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