It's 2 a.m. in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). A three-pound, premature newborn suddenly spikes a high fever, signaling an inflammatory response. Pediatricians and nurses confer about the cause: is it sepsis, a life-threatening infection spreading through the baby's bloodstream, or is it a non-infectious cause? Sepsis calls for a course of high-powered intravenous antibiotics, while a non-infectious inflammation would be best treated with steroids. For this fragile infant, a timely diagnosis is essential — but standard blood cultures to diagnose sepsis take up to 48 hours to yield reliable results.
What if there was a way to rule out sepsis quickly and reliably? One Center for Translational Science Activities (CTSA) M.D.-Ph.D. scholar and his mentors are researching that — and accessing invaluable resources at every step in the translational chain.