MI Universities Obtain Funding To Sequence COVID Other Infectious Diseases / Public Information Service

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A new grant will increase the capacity for sequencing and infectious disease research in Michigan, to improve the state’s ability to respond to health crises.

Four universities are receiving a total of $ 18.5 million for the work.

Dr Teena Chopra, co-director of the Detroit-based Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases at Wayne State University, said the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of increasing the focus on research and preparedness for this pandemic and future pandemics.

“The work for the grant is to look at emerging infections, not only the SARS-CoV 2 that causes COVID, but also other multidrug resistant organisms that have plagued the city of Detroit for years and are now even worse. after the pandemic. Chopra explained.

She noted that genomic sequencing can help track COVID transmission faster, control epidemics in communities, detect new variants and develop vaccines.

Dr Marcus Zervos, who also co-leads the WSU Center, said collaboration between universities is important. He stressed that efforts to understand the spread and scope of viruses such as COVID require national and international cooperation.

“We have not been able to respond quickly to a pandemic because we did not have mechanisms for testing and contact tracing, investigation and control of epidemics,” Zervos said. “If it is COVID, or if it is a new strain of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, it is essential to put in place a public health infrastructure. “

The data showed In Detroit and other cities, black and Latino communities have been hit harder by COVID than white communities. The Center also aims to reduce disparities, working with the state, the Detroit Health Department and community groups to find ways to benefit community health.

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