Hackley’s Independent Research Program (virtually) visits Mirimus Labs
On April 21, 2021, Hackley’s Independent Research Program (IRP) had the exciting opportunity to meet with Mirimus Lab’s Founder/CEO Dr. Premsrirut.
On April 21, 2021, Hackley’s Independent Research Program (IRP) had the exciting opportunity to meet with Mirimus Lab’s Founder/CEO Dr. Premsrirut. During her visit, Dr. Premsrirut provided a crash course in immunology to help attendees understand how the company switched from antigen testing early on during the pandemic, to their SalivaClear (TM) tests that Hackley currently employs for weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing.
One student found the notion of adaptability interesting. “Previously, her lab worked to develop tests to identify antibodies in suspected COVID individuals. While this issue is important, she and her company recognized a larger issue. Midway through the pandemic, she and her company realized that antibody tests weren't time efficient and that they needed to adapt in order to help a greater amount of people. They shifted their focus from antibody tests to diagnostic tests, which were much more time and cost efficient. By doing this, they were able to expand their outreach to a greater amount of people.” Another student found “one of the most interesting things to me was how Dr. Premsrirut talked about detecting variants. I thought it was interesting that the coronavirus is mutating enough that it is not forming a protein that they test for because I would think that they would test for genetic code that codes for proteins that are non-unique to specific coronaviruses.”
As an added bonus, Dr. Premsrirut also arranged a “behind the scenes” tour with senior scientist Nadia Khan. Our students greatly enjoyed seeing the entire workflow from where our saliva samples start, to extracting the RNA to seeing the RT-PCR analysis used to determine whether or not our samples are COVID positive/negative/inconclusive. Another student commented “I found the actual lab process which we saw at the end of class to be the coolest part. Seeing the assembly-line-like model used in practice in a medical lab setting was fascinating because it showed the many small pieces that were necessary to build/acquire to have the whole product, such as the label scanners, the machine which takes off the caps, etc.” Dr. Premsrirut is truly a visionary scientist and excellent educator. Hackley’s IRP thanks her for her generosity in offering her time and creating an inspiring and intriguing experience for the students.