ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — SUNY Polytechnic Institute is getting new funding, to create more accurate COVID-19 tests. The State is giving the school a $500,000 grant to support a partnership with the Wadsworth Center and Ciencia, Inc.

Researchers are working to create a 30-minute antibody test, which could determine vaccination status, prior exposure, and immunity levels. Experts say the test could also be applied to tick-borne illnesses, like Lyme disease.

The research is being led by SUNY Poly Interim Vice President for Research and Empire Innovation Professor of Nanobioscience, Dr. Nate Cady. “This public-private partnership is a prime example of the potential impact SUNY Poly faculty can have on real-world challenges,” said SUNY Poly Acting President Dr. Tod A. Laursen. “I am proud to congratulate Dr. Cady, as well as Ciencia, Inc. and the Wadsworth Center on receiving this grant to accelerate understanding of individual COVID-19 immunity status through this more efficient testing platform.”

While COVID-19 cases appear to be declining globally, any decrease in immunity or the possibility of variants that might escape a person’s antibodies could threaten progress. This platform technology aims to provide a data-driven pathway for virus mitigation through widely available, accurate, and quantitative profiles of patient immunity. Moving forward, the project anticipates providing an internship opportunity along with hands-on research for a SUNY Poly undergraduate student.