How ASU scientists aim to stop next pandemic

Md Ashif Ikbal, a graduate research associate in Chao Wang's lab at ASU, helped with research on a new kind of pathogen-detecting test. He says that his background and experiences have led him to pursue sustainability and human health research.

Md Ashif Ikbal sees connections between the pandemic and the climate crisis. And he has been working on solutions to both. 

Ikbal, who is pursuing his PhD at Arizona State University, works as a graduate research associate in assistant professor Chao Wang’s lab in the school of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering. Wang and his team recently released a study detailing their design for a new type of pathogen-detecting technology that they say is more efficient and accurate than existing techniques.

It’s a new way to test for viruses, at a time when viral testing has been put front and center for communities and individuals alike.

Chao and his team also say their test could be tailored more readily than existing tests to detect any novel virus that emerges around the world. And the threat of new viruses is becoming more urgent as human activities encroach on wild spaces and drive deforestation and biodiversity loss.






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