From The Labs

Help Baylor College of Medicine advance in the STAT Madness Science Competition

Baylor College of Medicine is a contender in the 2024 national STAT Madness competition! STAT Madness is based on college basketball’s March Madness tournaments with a science twist where the public chooses the top innovation in science and medicine by leading research institutions in the previous year.

Dr. Anthony W. Maresso

This year, the College is represented by work from Dr. Anthony Maresso’s lab published in Nature Communications. In collaboration with Texas Epidemic Public Health Institute (TEPHI) and UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, the team has established a statewide Texas Wastewater Environmental Biomonitoring (TexWEB) network that is the first to analyze the human virome – all the known human viruses – that are circulating in a community, by regularly and comprehensively scrutinizing public wastewater.

Relevant to both individuals and communities

The researchers developed and implemented a complete pipeline, from sample collection, analysis and interpretation of wastewater results, to producing periodical reports on the health of communities, which are sent to public health officials. This is important because knowing the up-and-down patterns of the relative proportions of the different viruses in time and by location is increasingly proving to be a powerful tool to improve our understanding of outbreaks, transmission and the effects on overall population health.

The health report has the potential to benefit members of the community, for example by giving them a heads up of upcoming flu outbreaks for which they can prepare by getting a flu shot. Public health officials also can use this information to adjust hospital staffing in anticipation of an increase in cases.

Learn more details about this project, here and read an interview with the authors and some of the history behind wastewater epidemiology involving 1960s work at Baylor, here.

Vote now here.

How STAT Madness voting works

STAT Madness is a bracket-style competition, like the NCAA basketball tournament, with studies set against each other in weekly rounds of voting.

We are now  in the run to win the final round.

Take two steps to vote, here:

  1. Open a free account on STAT.
  2. Login and vote.

You can vote once a day from your computer, phone or other device.

This year, 50 institutions across the U.S. sent their candidate studies to STAT Madness, which selected 64 for the competition. Voting will continue through six single-elimination rounds before the winner of the popular vote is announced April 5.


By Ana María Rodríguez, Ph.D.

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