Marshfield Clinic Research Institute receives $22.5 million to serve as CDC reference lab

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 12:41 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - The integrated Research and Development Lab at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute has received a $22.5 million grant to serve as the sole central reference lab in the nation to support the CDC on several COVID-19 studies.

The CDC is conducting studies to monitor the incidences of symptomatic COVID-19 and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection throughout the U.S. During the winter months, the CDC expects SARS-CoV-2 and influenza to co-circulate the U.S., making it necessary to collect information on both viral diseases simultaneously.

“The team we have here is truly tremendous and I continue to be amazed at how they have responded in the face of adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jennifer Meece, Ph.D., director of the Laboratory. “This is an amazing opportunity for the Research Institute and the Laboratory team. Our team has highly accomplished, experienced and dedicated laboratorians whose commitment to quality research for more than 20 years as a core research laboratory have led to this opportunity. This did not happen overnight.”

The Laboratory will focus on three objectives for this award:

  • Establishing an effective means of assessing SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus infections in the context of prospective cohort studies.
  • Designing effective specimen processing and molecular testing procedures that are adapted to the needs of CDC’s cohorts.
  • Full implementation and refinement of high throughput molecular diagnostics.

“We have a proud history of strong epidemiologic research and work on these cohort studies, and this new funding will only strengthen our foothold in this area,” said Amit Acharya, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., executive director of the Research Institute. “This is huge and a true testament to the expertise and national recognition of the Laboratory team.”

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