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.
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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.