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Researchers will see how well the tests’ predictions match up with real-world outcomes. Moufarrej’s invention, which involved collaboration with other engineers, scientists, and obstetricians, “is like most science, it’s incremental and it builds on itself,” she said. “You need to have the technology. You need to have an information source. And then you need to see if that information source contains useful information from the clinical context.” “It allows them to be aware that this is something that may happen,” as opposed to suddenly experiencing contractions and needing emergency care, Moufarrej said. “For mothers who don’t live close to hospitals with excellent NICUs, that can prove extremely difficult and may result in loss of life.”

Her team expects insurance companies to cover them since the costs of the preterm deliveries are far greater, and there’s already a billing code to process such tests. Unlike DNA, which can only measure static aspects of a pregnancy like chromosomal abnormalities, RNA changes over time and so reflects how the fetus is developing. After a clinician takes a routine blood draw from a pregnant patient, Moufarrej’s tests work by measuring cell-free messenger RNA, which is a portion of the blood’s plasma. Doctors “just guess” which babies may arrive preterm,Dr.

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The preeclampsia test is expected to be licensed next. Both tests, she said, should be available on the market in the next few years. “That’s especially important for Black mothers in the US who are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth,” Moufarrej said. “Altogether these tests empower mothers to take control of their own healthcare in a system that is imperfect.” Another of Moufarrej’s tests helps doctors and patients also get ahead of pre-eclampsia, a potentially deadly high-blood pressure condition that affects 1 in 20 pregnant people and even moreBlack patients.

“Seeing myself as a scientist has evolved over time,” she said. “Winning this award has been great validation there that I am an inventor and a scientist, and I’m really excited to be a part of the program.” “As I learned more, I learned that it wasn’t just cancer that had this problem, many areas of healthcare, and specifically women’s healthcare, were understudied,” she said. When Moufarrej began this work, she was in her early 20s and pregnancy was far from her mind.

Current challenges and best practices for cell-free long RNA biomarker discovery. RNA profiles reveal signatures of future health and disease in pregnancy. Outside of the above transfer/refund policy, the only transfer or refund that can be made is in the event the conference is moved to a new date ex.

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It was also recognized by Bill Gates as one of the top 10 innovations of 2019 in the MIT Technology Review. Dr. Moufarrej joined The Column Group as a Swanson Fellow in 2021 after completing her PhD in bioengineering at Stanford University where she also earned a master’s degree in computer science. For this work, Dr. Moufarrej received the 2021 “Cure it! Her work has also been published in Science and highlighted by the New York Times, CNN, and Insider, among others like the MIT Technology Review, which named it a top 10 innovation of 2019. She also holds a SB in biological engineering from MIT. Mira Moufarrej is a PhD candidate in bioengineering at Stanford University where she has also earned a master’s degree in computer science.

But she’d always been driven to diagnose medical complications early, first thinking she wanted to be a doctor after her grandmother died from pancreatic cancer that was diagnosed too late. For one, as Moufarrej acknowleged, before such inventions go mainstream, it needs to be clear the benefits of the tests outweigh the risks, like false positives that can lead to unnecessary anxiety or interventions. Currently, doctors use tools like ultrasounds to average crochet hook size monitor a person’s pregnancy, but those only provide a snapshot of what’s going on and don’t foreshadow what’s to come. One minute a mom-to-be could be launching a work project or planning a weekend trip, and the next she’s struck with contractions and in need of urgent care. The PhD student also created a test to preditc preeclampsia in the first rather than third trimester. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.

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