May 17, 2022

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

Michigan Tech will obtain $four.3 million to help the point out of Michigan increase sequencing
for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

The Michigan Department of Overall health and Human Solutions (MDHHS) announced nowadays that 4 Michigan universities will obtain $eighteen.five million in federal cash more than
the up coming two several years to accumulate and assess genomic info to address emerging infectious
disease threats and greatly enhance the state’s potential to react to those threats.

Michigan Technological University, Michigan Point out University, the University of Michigan
and Wayne Point out University will use the funding to enhance sequencing capacity in
the point out — starting with SARS-CoV-2 and then increasing to other infectious disease
threats with likely for broad neighborhood spread.

Funding for the Michigan Sequencing Tutorial Partnership for Community Overall health Innovation
and Response (MI-SAPPHIRE) is by means of a Centers for Disease Command and Prevention
(CDC) Epidemiology and Laboratory Capability grant MDHHS received. MI-SAPPHIRE functions
will consist of sequence technology and evaluation, this sort of as sample collection and sequencing
info processing, storage and sharing and info interpretation and analytics.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and want for genomic sequencing, surveillance and epidemiology capacity both of those globally and appropriate in this article in Michigan,”
claimed Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “The MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories has speedily
expanded its initiatives to determine COVID-19 variants because the start out of the pandemic
to help general public wellbeing actions. MI-SAPPHIRE will allow our point out to increase sequencing
and evaluation capacity and the amount of pathogens that undertake program sequencing,
and assure we are sampling assorted geographic regions throughout the point out.”

“Michigan Tech carries on to be a chief in the Upper Peninsula for furnishing neighborhood
means during the COVID-19 pandemic,” claimed Caryn Heldt, the James and Lorna Mack Endowed Chair of Cellular and Molecular Engineering at
Tech and the director of the University’s Overall health Investigate Institute. “For 20 months, the University provided neighborhood and campus tests for the virus.
Now, with the help from the point out and federal authorities, we will establish the infrastructure
to provide sequencing capacity for the point out wellbeing companies.

“While we will start out with SARS-CoV-2 sequencing, the capacity we are creating will
then be utilized to sequence other pathogens, ranging from drug-resistant gonorrhea to
zoonotic diseases, like avian influenza,” Heldt claimed. “Collectively, Michigan Tech
has expertise in genomic sequencing, zoonotic diseases and the computational infrastructure
necessary to keep, catalog and assess big genomic datasets. Incorporate this expertise
with the interactions we have with area suppliers and the Western Upper Peninsula
Overall health Department, and we are thrilled to help the point out scale their capacity and go on
to help our neighborhood in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in addressing upcoming
wellbeing threats.”

Michigan Tech’s analysis workforce contains Heldt, her co-principal investigators Dukka KC and Hairong Wei, and senior researchers Kristin Brzeski, Person Hembroff, Kelly Kamm, Stephen Techtmann and Kui Zhang.

Michigan Technological University is a general public analysis college launched in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is house to extra than 7,000 students from fifty five nations all around the environment. Continuously ranked between the best universities in the country for return on expenditure, the University provides extra than a hundred twenty five undergraduate and graduate diploma applications in science and technologies, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, wellbeing professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Excellent in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, providing 12 months-spherical options for out of doors experience.