Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) faculty scientist Markita Landry and Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) faculty scientist Niren Murthy are among the seven UC Berkeley faculty named to the 2019-20 cohort of Bakar Fellows. The UCB program fosters faculty entrepreneurship in fields including engineering, computer science, the biological and physical sciences, and architecture. The honor is bestowed on researchers with novel ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit, giving them the money and time to translate their laboratory breakthroughs into technologies ready for the marketplace.
A team of researchers led by Niren Murthy, a faculty scientist in the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) Division, have created a test that can identify bacteria that are resistant to certain classes of antibiotics in a matter of minutes. The results of the test help doctors prescribe the right antibiotics for each infection and could help limit the spread of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs.’ These ‘superbugs’ actually contribute to about 700,000 deaths worldwide each year, but this new test increases patient’s chances of survival since the correct drug can be prescribed almost immediately.