Massachusetts Selected For Pathogen Genomics Center Of Excellence By CDC

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been selected to receive millions in funding to establish a Pathogen Genomics Center of Excellence to help prevent and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks. MDPH was one of five national recipients selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over a five-year period, MDPH will receive $25 million to establish the department as a regional center for developing state public health genomics capability and epidemiologic application, according to MDPH. The center will study and analyze DNA data and apply the knowledge gained to community practice to help prepare for and respond to infectious disease threats.

“The Massachusetts COVID-19 response has relied on our many colleague laboratories, institutions, and organizations, including universities and partners in the medical, public health, and scientific community,” Kevin Cranston, Department of Public Health Assistant Commissioner and Director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences said in a statement. “We believe this Center of Excellence will spur new innovation and inform how we address future public health threats.”

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The Georgia Department of Public Health, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, and the Washington State Department of Health are the other four regional centers selected by the CDC. The centers will pilot and implement genomics technology for public health, while educating and training health departments on the use of genomics, according to MDPH.

The American Rescue Plan is funding $1.7 billion across the nation to help support genomic surveillance. $400 million is being used towards innovation and about $90 million is being used towards the five centers the CDC selected.

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