WSLH Screening Method Named 1 of 6 WARF Innovation Award Nominees

WSLH Newborn Screening Director and UW Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Mei Baker and WSLH Newborn Screening Chemist Dr. Brian Conti were named 1 of 6 Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) 2022 Innovation Award nominees.

Mei and Brian developed a pediatric familial hypercholesterolemia screening method that uses dried blood samples (DBS) to directly measure low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

Approximately 1 in 200-300 people will develop familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a common genetic disorder characterized by elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (aka “bad cholesterol”) and premature cardiovascular disease. Recent findings show that lowering cholesterol levels at a young age helps prevent the buildup of fats and cholesterol in the arteries and decreases cardiovascular events in adulthood.

On December 15th, WARF announced the two award winners. Although Baker and Conti’s project was not selected, the fact that they were among six nominees selected from more than 400 WARF innovation disclosures is a tremendous honor.