U-M getting $13.8M for new center to study infectious diseases, pandemic response

Posted at 10:59 AM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 10:59:43-04

(WXYZ) — The University of Michigan announced it is spending nearly $14 million on a new Michigan Center for Infectious Disease Threats, which will study infectious diseases and also prepare for future pandemics.

The university has been at the forefront of working with the State of Michigan on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Since 2000, we've had three coronaviruses that are new to humans cause outbreaks or the current pandemic. And we've had three influenza viruses try to make the jump from animals to humans, and one succeeded," Infectious Disease Expert Aubree Gordon said in a release. "So what's the likelihood that we see another pandemic in our lives? I'll say the likelihood is pretty high."

The Biosciences Initiative awarded the university $13.8 million over the next five years for the center.

Gordon will lead the center, which will allow researchers from many areas including public health, engineering, social sciences and biology, to work on issues that are key to responding to infectious diseases and possible pandemics.

According to Gordon, the main objective is to connect researchers and better prepare everyone.

"The world was not ready for the pandemic, our nation was not ready for the pandemic and our campus was not ready for the pandemic," she said.