Wayne State establishes infectious disease research center to aid in future pandemics from Crain’s Detroit Business
August 10, 2021
By: Dustin Walsh, Crain’s Detroit Business
- Center will focus on vaccine development, deployment and pandemic mitigation
- Led by WSU doctors and professors
- Follows WSU’s mandate of COVID-19 vaccine for students, staff
Wayne State University announced Monday the opening of a new center focused on the study of infectious diseases and strategies to combat future pandemics.
The Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases will enhance training and research in the field of public health. The center is not a physical building but a collection of doctors, researchers and professors at WSU.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered local, state and national mindsets toward infectious disease threats, including pandemic diseases,” said Dr. Mark Schweitzer, dean of WSU School of Medicine and vice president of health affairs for the Detroit university, in a press release. “The pandemic revealed deep and broad gaps in our clinical and public health infrastructure that responds to pandemics.
“In line with the mission of WSU to support urban communities at risk for health disparities, the center will have the expertise and capacity to support and collaborate with neighborhoods, hospitals and public health agencies to deliver state-of-the-art diagnostics, treatments and preventive strategies for the benefit of all residents in Detroit and other communities.”
Schweitzer will lead the new center.
The center will cost approximately $4 million annually to operate, mostly funded by external grants, the university told Crain’s in an email.
Work done at the center will focus on vaccine development, clinical vaccine evaluational, deployment strategies for the vaccine in underserved populations and research on pandemic mitigation efforts.
Directors of the new center include: Dr. Teena Chopra, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases; Dr. Paul Kilgore, associate professor of pharmacy practice; Dr. Marcus Zervos, head of infectious diseases division for Henry Ford Health System, professor of medicine and assistant dean of WSU Global Affairs.
Key faculty include: Dr. Phillip Levy, professor of emergency medicine and assistant vice president of translational science and clinical research at WSU; and Matthew Seeger, professor of communication.
The center’s research will focus specifically on the populations of the city of Detroit, the university said in a press release.
WSU mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all students, staff and faculty amid rising cases. They must submit documentation proving their vaccination status to the university by Aug. 30.
Read, “Wayne State establishes infectious disease research center to aid in future pandemics” from Crain’s Detroit Business