A Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student has earned a $30,000 prize for work on destroying drug-resistant bacteria and keeping medical equipment sterile.
Timothy Lu, 27, was named winner of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for developing processes to attack bacteria strains that increasingly resist antibiotics.
One of Lu’s projects involves engineering viruses called bacteriophage that help destroy the mechanisms bacteria use to resist antibiotics. In doing so, a patient needs less antibiotics to fight an infection, reducing side-effects. The process also makes it less likely drug-resistant strains can survive.
The student award, given to an MIT senior or graduate student, encourages scientific and engineering creativity in the name of Jerome H. Lemelson, a prolific inventor.