Joshua T. Derrick

Joshua T. Derrick

Scholar Title

MIT EECS | Takeda Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Detection of Gut Microbiota in Human Stool Using RNA Toeholds: Predicting IBD Patient Response to Biologics





Research Areas
  • Biology

Jim Collins


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a painful condition in the digestive tract that affects eleven million Americans a year. Current treatments can be costly and ineffective and require the development of better diagnostic tools. We are developing RNA-toehold switch sensors for four different species of bacteria that have been shown to be associated with differential patient response to biologics, the most expensive and potentially most effective treatment option for IBD. The sensors will then be used to analyze fecal samples from patients on biologic treatment in order to create a predictive model for patient response to biologics.


“I am participating in SuperUROP to take my research to the next level. I have three years of wet lab biology experience, and I am hoping to be able to synthesize my previous experience with the computational skills I have learned in class.”

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