Mira Moufarrej developed 3 liquid biopsy tests that measure cell-free RNA (cfRNA) to predict how far along a pregnancy is and whether a mother is at risk of preeclampsia and preterm delivery long before traditional diagnostics. This work paves the way for affordable, simple, and reliable tests for preeclampsia and preterm delivery – risks that no other test can presently diagnose early enough to allow for meaningful clinical intervention. To enable such discoveries, she has also built a semi-automated pipeline to process samples, a notoriously tedious task, which to date, has extracted cfRNA from ~1100 samples in 9 days. For this work, Mira received the 2021 “Cure it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize. Her work has also been published in Science, and highlighted by the New York Times, CNN and Insider, among others. It was also recognized by Bill Gates as one of the top 10 innovations of 2019 in the MIT Technology Review.
Improving Prenatal Care through Liquid Biopsies