Innovative, Multi-Sector Approach Critical for Pathogen Surveillance

The White House announced a forward-looking approach to pandemic response with an important announcement about funding for genomic sequencing. This investment in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) represents a potentially transformational effort that will not only help us continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic but is an important step in detecting other pathogens, preventing future pandemics. It is noteworthy that funds are being distributed amongst academic medical centers, research and public health laboratories, hospitals and industry partners in order to expand the scope of innovation of genomic sequencing technologies.

“Today, the White House took a crucial first step toward a collaborative, forward-thinking approach where hospitals, academic medical centers and research laboratories, industry innovators and public health labs partner to address genomic sequencing’s critical role in pandemic response,” said Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, American Society for Microbiology (ASM). In the coming weeks, ASM will convene a stakeholder initiative, bringing together leading scientists, industry innovators, and government and policy leaders to address the central role of genomic sequencing in responding to COVID-19 and preventing future pandemics.

Bertuzzi has also asked Melissa Miller, Chair of ASM’s Clinical and Public Health Microbiology committee, to lead a working group of top experts in clinical microbiology and public health laboratory science to formulate a multi-year vision for ensuring that every patient has access to optimal infectious diseases diagnostics and detecting emerging pathogens for every population.

ASM is uniquely positioned to bring together leading scientists from these diverse sectors and will continue to work on this coordination to ensure the U.S. stays ahead of the next potentially deadly pandemic.

This funding would not be possible without CDC’s efforts and the action of these partners and Congressional champions. ASM now stands ready to facilitate coordination between these partners that will ultimately lead to an improved state of public health for the U.S.

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