Alfred University News

Alfred University alumnus oversees clinical trial of rapid COVID-19 diagnostic test

Kian Merchant-Borna '07
Kian Merchant-Borna '07

Alfred University alumnus Kian Merchant-Borna ’07 served as principal investigator for a University of Rochester Medical Center-hosted clinical trial of a quick COVID-19 diagnostic testing device.


ROCHESTER, NY – Alfred University alumnus Kian Merchant-Borna ’07 served as principal investigator for a University of Rochester Medical Center-hosted clinical trial of a quick COVID-19 diagnostic testing device.

Abbott Laboratories’ BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card, a point of care diagnostic test, was evaluated in the clinical trial at URMC. The $5 diagnostic test, roughly the size of a credit card, detects COVID-19 from a nasal swab within 15 minutes. It has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for use by doctors, nurses, school nurses, pharmacists, and other health care providers.

URMC press release on BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card clinical trial

Merchant-Borna earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental studies from Alfred University in 2007. He earned a master’s degree in public health from Boston University in 2009 and an MBA from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business in 2015. He is a member of the research faculty in the URMC Department of Emergency Medicine.

As principal investigator of the Emergency Medicine Industry Sponsored Research Program, Merchant-Borna oversaw the clinical trial at URMC. The University of Rochester was one of 19 universities that served as test sites for the clinical trial of the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card.

“This is really exciting,” Merchant-Borna said in a press release from the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Eventually, anyone in their home will be able to use this, before you send your children off to school, or before you go to visit your grandparents. It’s the same technology as a urine pregnancy test, and just as easy to use.”