MTU One of Four State Universities to Receive $18.5M in Federal Funding to Expand Infectious Disease Research

Michigan Tech will acquire $4.three million to help the condition of Michigan grow sequencing
for COVID-19 and other infectious conditions.

The Michigan Division of Well being and Human Products and services (MDHHS) introduced currently that 4 Michigan universities will acquire $eighteen.five million in federal money about
the up coming two many years to accumulate and assess genomic details to address emerging infectious
condition threats and greatly enhance the state’s capability to reply to people threats.

Michigan Technological University, Michigan Condition University, the University of Michigan
and Wayne Condition University will use the funding to maximize sequencing capability in
the condition — starting off with SARS-CoV-2 and then expanding to other infectious condition
threats with probable for broad community spread.

Funding for the Michigan Sequencing Academic Partnership for Community Well being Innovation
and Reaction (MI-SAPPHIRE) is as a result of a Centers for Disease Management and Avoidance
(CDC) Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity grant MDHHS acquired. MI-SAPPHIRE functions
will include sequence generation and analysis, this sort of as sample collection and sequencing
details processing, storage and sharing and details interpretation and analytics.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the worth and will need for genomic sequencing, surveillance and epidemiology capability both globally and appropriate right here in Michigan,”
said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “The MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories has fast
expanded its endeavours to determine COVID-19 variants given that the commence of the pandemic
to assist community well being steps. MI-SAPPHIRE will permit our condition to grow sequencing
and analysis capability and the variety of pathogens that bear schedule sequencing,
and guarantee we are sampling diverse geographic areas across the condition.”

“Michigan Tech proceeds to be a leader in the Upper Peninsula for supplying community
means through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Caryn Heldt, the James and Lorna Mack Endowed Chair of Mobile and Molecular Engineering at
Tech and the director of the University’s Well being Analysis Institute. “For twenty months, the University furnished community and campus screening for the virus.
Now, with the assist from the condition and federal authorities, we will build the infrastructure
to offer sequencing capability for the condition well being organizations.

“While we will commence with SARS-CoV-2 sequencing, the capability we are making will
then be utilized to sequence other pathogens, ranging from drug-resistant gonorrhea to
zoonotic conditions, like avian influenza,” Heldt said. “Collectively, Michigan Tech
has abilities in genomic sequencing, zoonotic conditions and the computational infrastructure
essential to store, catalog and assess massive genomic datasets. Incorporate this abilities
with the associations we have with local providers and the Western Upper Peninsula
Well being Division, and we are psyched to help the condition scale their capability and keep on
to assist our community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in addressing long term
well being threats.”

Michigan Tech’s investigation crew contains Heldt, her co-principal investigators Dukka KC and Hairong Wei, and senior scientists Kristin Brzeski, Guy Hembroff, Kelly Kamm, Stephen Techtmann and Kui Zhang.

Michigan Technological University is a community investigation college established in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is dwelling to much more than seven,000 students from fifty five countries all-around the globe. Regularly ranked between the most effective universities in the nation for return on financial commitment, the University features much more than 125 undergraduate and graduate diploma programs in science and technologies, engineering, computing, forestry, enterprise and economics, well being professions, humanities, arithmetic, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Remarkable in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, offering year-spherical possibilities for outdoor experience.

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