MAY 21 - NICOLE TICEA
At just fifteen years old, Vancouver high school student Nicole Ticea developed an early-stage HIV test that’s as easy to use as an over-the-counter pregnancy test. Unlike current rapid response tests which rely on testing antibodies, Ticea utilized a technique known as isothermic nucleic acid amplification, making it possible to detect the virus as early as one week after infection. The disposable device does not rely on electricity, provides results in under one hour and should cost less than $5.00 to produce.
“Nicole’s work really made me realize what a big difference a fast easy-to-administer test for early stage HIV infection could make in prolonging, if not saving, thousands of lives in developing countries,” said Gursev Anmole, the graduate student mentor who assisted Nicole on her research at Simon Fraser University.
Ticea was recently awarded the 2015 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award for her groundbreaking work. After starting her own company, she received a $100,000 grant to continue developing this technology in the hopes of bringing it to low-income communities in need.