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Northern Michigan University and Micro Imaging Technology to Collaborate on Rapid Detection of Staph and MRSA Pathogens

Micro Imaging Technology, Inc. announced that it will collaborate with the Northern Michigan University (NMU) Department of Biology to expand MIT’s technology to identify and differentiate Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The goal of the strategic research with NMU is to rapidly and cost-effectively identify these two particular healthcare threats using the MIT 1000 System, a bacterial cell based identification system that can identify pathogenic bacteria in three minutes (average) at significant cost savings per test.

At this stage the collaboration involves scientists from MIT and NMU gathering preliminary data and developing collaborative research proposals seeking funding in support of continued research.

Dr. Josh S. Sharp, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Northern Michigan University Department of Biology, will direct the NMU portion of the research at his laboratory in Marquette, MI. Sharp received a B.S. at Western Michigan University in 1998 and his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University in 2006. His initial research in this collaboration will focus on clinical applications of the MIT 1000.

“Being able to quickly identify if a patient has an S. aureus infection, and whether or not that S. aureus is MRSA, a strain of S. aureus resistant to certain antibiotics would be extremely useful in dictating the proper course of treatment for that patient, and ultimately increase the likelihood of a successful patient outcome,” Sharp said.

Micro Imaging Technology’s Chief Scientist, Dr. David Haavig, is the program director of the effort and will lead MIT’s team in the collaboration. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Purdue University in 1983. Haavig was instrumental in developing the MIT 1000, a stand-alone, rapid laser based bacteria detection and identification technology that can detect pathogenic bacteria and complete an identifying test in less than three minutes (average) at significant cost savings per test.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Dr. Sharp and his staff on this project,” Haavig said. ”We are confident that this collaborative effort will be highly successful and the result of our teamwork and the clinical implications for this technology may very well prove to be immeasurable.”

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