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Announcing the Karius Clinical Investigator Awards for Applied Infectious Disease Genomics

Karius to Award $100,000 in Clinical Research Grant Funds for Novel Applications of Infectious Disease Diagnostics Using Genomics

Karius, the leading U.S. infectious disease genomics company, is offering awards for promising research using next-generation sequencing to study human pathogens.

Two grants of up to $50,000 each will be awarded to investigators at research institutions for novel applications of the Karius cell-free DNA test for infectious diseases. Applications must include a detailed proposal for clinical research and budget for proposed use of grant funds. In addition to the funding, the company will cover the cost of sequencing a limited number of specimens for this program.

The purpose of these grants is to accelerate research focused on infectious disease diagnostics and to positively impact human health.

Winners will be announced during the October 2018 IDWeek conference in San Francisco, CA, with a special event at the nearby Karius headquarters. The closing date for applications is July 13, 2018.

Researchers at any level of training who are based in the United States may apply to the Karius Clinical Investigator Awards for Applied Infectious Disease Genomics at kariusdx.com/about/events/ciawards. Information concerning the terms of participation in Clinical Investigator Awards are available on the awards website.

The Challenge

One of the greatest challenges facing humanity is the continuing global impact of infectious diseases: infections cause roughly 20% of all human deaths each year.

There are approximately 1,400 known species of human pathogens, but to put it into perspective, these pathogens account for less than 1% of the total microbial species sharing our planet. Antimicrobial resistance, rapidly evolving pathogen genomes, and increasing numbers of immunocompromised patients make infectious diseases a vital area of future research.

The enormous impact of infectious diseases on our world cannot be overstated — and should not be underestimated.

The Opportunity

Mickey Kertesz, co-founder and CEO of Karius, says this is a call for innovators. “We are excited to review the range of project proposals for how Karius technology can be used to address a clinical or public health problem. The possibilities are tremendous. We look forward to collaborating and propelling top-notch research in the field of infectious disease genomics.”

Dr. David Hong, Medical Director at Karius, will lead the judging panel to select the award winners. “Karius has already collaborated on studies with UCSF, Duke University, and Stanford, with several other studies in progress. We are keen to apply the power of sequencing cell-free pathogen DNA to the biggest infectious disease challenges. Send us your best ideas.”

Grant requests must be supported by a detailed study protocol and budget, and funds will be awarded to the selected research institutions upon execution of a letter of agreement.

About the Karius Plasma NGS Test

The Karius Test is a plasma-based next-generation sequencing test to help clinicians rapidly diagnose infectious diseases. It allows precise, broad-based detection of more than a thousand bacteria, DNA viruses, fungi, molds, and protozoa from a single non-invasive blood draw. Results are typically available within one day of sample receipt. The full list of microorganisms detected by Karius is available here. Through Karius’ CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified laboratory service, the test empowers doctors to diagnose infections quickly and provide more targeted treatment to their patients.

Widespread applications of Karius technology include:

  • Detecting pathogens in culture-negative infections (including sepsis, endocarditis and fastidious organisms, as well as for patients pre-treated with antibiotics)
  • Identifying deep-seated infections such as invasive fungal infections that would otherwise require invasive biopsies
  • Enabling targeted antimicrobial therapy and stewardship
  • Monitoring immunocompromised patients susceptible to a broad range of pathogens (including stem-cell transplant recipients and patients with febrile neutropenia)

About Karius

Karius is a life sciences company focused on transforming infectious disease diagnostics with genomics. The Redwood City-based company was founded in 2014 and has received funding from DCVC, Lightspeed, Khosla Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, Spectrum28, Tencent, and other investors.

The Karius advisory board includes:

  • Dr. Steven Quake, professor of bioengineering at Stanford University and renowned genomics pioneer
  • Dr. Russ Altman, professor of bioengineering, genetics, and medicine at Stanford
  • Dr. Iwijn De Vlaminck, Robert N. Noyce Assistant Professor in Life Science and Technology at Cornell University and cell-free DNA-based diagnostics expert
  • Dr. Christopher Mason, Associate Professor of Computational Genomics in Computational Biomedicine at Cornell University and Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Brain and Mind Institute
  • Dr. David Relman, Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor in the departments of Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University and Chief of Infectious Diseases at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System

For more information, visit www.kariusdx.com and follow @kariusdx on Twitter.

All researchers interested in the Karius Clinical Investigator Awards for Applied Infectious Disease Genomics are invited to submit their proposals before July 13, 2018 at kariusdx.com/about/events/ciawards.