Episode 02/
Insights from an academic clinical research assay developer

22 January, 2021 / Analysis of numerous factors of COVID-19 testing, including test development and tests for different sample types

The sudden onset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic forced many academic research labs to pivot to diagnostic testing. In this episode, we speak with Priya Banada, an Assistant Professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, about her experiences pivoting from developing clinical research assays to running diagnostic assays, with added insights from a software vendor’s point-of-view from James Grayson. We also cover the pros and cons of different sample types, viral load, and how more clinicians should be asking to see Ct values.

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Our Guests


Priya Banada
Priya Banada, PhD is an assistant professor at the Center for Infectious Diseases at Rutgers University. Priya has more than 20 years of academic experience in molecular diagnostics and specializes in assays for the detection of infectious diseases. She has worked with a wide variety of pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2. Priya’s lab pivoted to support SARS-CoV-2 at the start of the pandemic. She has an extensive publication history and frequently partners with diagnostic companies to support assay development.

James Grayson
James Grayson is a scientist and automation engineer with more than 10 years experience in laboratory workflow automation. James joined UgenTec in August 2019 as the Technical and Applications lead for the Americas and Australia helping to support customers and grow the UgenTec team and business in new markets. Prior to joining UgenTec, James was the Head of Molecular Workflow Automation at Siemens Healthineers, working to capture Voice of Customer Workflow needs and develop customized solutions.
Meet our host
Pia Abola, PhD
Pia Abola, PhD, has spent the past ten years providing content marketing for life science companies. Before becoming a marketer she used protein biochemistry and molecular biology to study site-specific recombination, plant-bacteria symbiosis, and signal transduction. She also worked on the human genome sequencing project and and at an anti-viral drug discovery company.
Next episode
Using artificial intelligence to counter COVID

10 March, 2021

A fairly new technology for medical settings, artificial intelligence (AI) has been critical for enabling deep insights and fast responses to the pandemic. In this podcast, we speak with scientists from three different companies on how they use AI to counter the pandemic, the challenges facing AI in a biomedical setting, and the real advantages that this powerful technology can bring to improve healthcare outcomes. Covering SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostic testing, patient management in the hospital, and SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic imaging, our guests bring together an impressive depth of knowledge and range of viewpoints on the implementation of AI in medicine.

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Enabling your rapid response to the pandemic

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