Undergraduate researcher needed to assist in WHO-funded Personal Protective Equipment Decontamination Research
Are you interested in helping the World Health Foundation respond to COVID-19 and prepare for the next Pandemic? The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated public health worldwide and taken a massive toll on populations and economies. At the core of some of the problems faced in the initial phases of the pandemic were global shortages of critical personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 facemasks and respirators. Technologies exist to safely decontaminated and reuse PPE, but these are often expensive, offsite solutions that may not be feasible to rapidly scale or translate to low-resource, community, and emergency settings. The Water Institute Environmental Microbiology research team is interested in improving solutions for infection prevention control in a range of low-resource, community, and emergency settings. Our research goals include measuring the ability of low-cost scalable solutions to rapidly and safely decontaminate N95 and cloth masks and inactivate coronavirus surrogates to enable reuse of critical PPE across a wide range of settings. We will quantify the performance of wet and dry heat, sunlight, decontamination in rice cookers, and other low-cost approaches for inactivating indicator organisms and generate preliminary recommendations for implementation and scale-up. Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to conduct laboratory research, learn culture-based microbiology research methods and assays, as wells as learn more about environmental science and engineering in Public Health. Interested undergrads should contact Hania Zanib (firstname.lastname@example.org).