Gabe Meister, ’05 PhD, lead researcher at Battelle, feels hope after his team's collaboration with Ohio State Wexner Medical Center researchers to develop a rapid test for COVID-19.


Dr. Meister and family

April 7, 2020 – I’ve been researching infectious diseases my entire professional life. My curiosity about how to fight them was the reason I came to Ohio State to get my PhD.

The fight against coronavirus and the effort to treat its victims is the biggest any of us has ever seen. But the signs of hope are emerging – in the lab where I work, a joint venture between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle, in our community, and across our state.

In mid-March, our team at Battelle was approached with an opportunity to team up with Ohio State to help bring forward a rapid, sensitive diagnostic test for COVID-19. The days and weeks that have followed have been whirlwinds – so much so that only recently have I had the opportunity to step back and think about how the work taking place in our lab supports the broader efforts we are all making to limit the impact of this pandemic.

It’s my hope that the work we are doing to improve the reliability and speed of testing for COVID-19 is part of improving patient outcomes for those stricken by this virus. It gives me great pride to be involved in bringing hope to those who are so actively looking for it now.

While I was an Ohio State student, I learned what an incredible institution this is from a research, clinical and patient care standpoint. The lessons instilled in me by my advisor are the ones that guide my work today – the unrelenting need to ask questions, a strong focus on problem-solving skills and a tremendous focus on fundamental science.

I can’t imagine the impact that we can have going forward with a mind toward collaboration, help, support and encouragement.

I know that it’s a time of unknowns, and there is rampant anxiety and worry. But I find hope in what I’m seeing across researchers and institutions.

My wife and I have three children, and I hope that they see this and they say, “I want to be part of the solution in the future. I want to have a curious mind.” I hope, especially, that they see the sacrifices being made by so many – with a special mention here for my wife, Holly, my superhero. My late nights in the lab have only been possible because of her hard work.

I hope that they see all of the good that is coming out of people in this time of need. And they can give back. In a time of filled with uncertainty and anxiety, that is the little bit of hope and positivity that carries me.

Gabe Meister, ’05 PhD

meister lab

Gabe Meister, PhD, (right) at work in his lab. Dr. Meister's team at Battelle teamed up with researchers from Ohio State to develop a rapid, sensitive COVID-19 test.

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