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University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences received nearly eight-million worth of grant to expand its infectious disease research



Arkansas – More than two and a half years into the Covid-19 pandemic, governments and health officials around the world are still evaluating the steps taken in battling the deadly virus. Some measures provided better results compared to others, but in general, the majority agree that the world was completely unprepared for the Covid-19 scenario.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, as well as other top health officials, have been warning that Covid-19 is just one disease and viruses with similar characteristics will very likely occur in the future. These top health experts, understandably, aren’t able to provide precise predictions and say that there is nothing to be done to stop a disease once it starts spreading among people, but they all agree that there are some preventive measures to be taken in order for a COVID-alike scenario to be avoided.

Developing a rapid response in case of another outbreak was the main motive behind the grant worth nearly $8 million that the National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) this week. According to NIH’s, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will use part of the $7.9 million grant to expand its infectious disease research, while part of the grant will specifically be used for developing a rapid response strategy in case of another outbreak in the future.

The renovation will create about 9,900 square feet of additional research space on the first floor of Biomedical Research Center Building One. In order to get the extra space, the building will be redesigned so that an atrium, large diagonal hallways, and offices will be turned into labs.

The project expected to start in mid-2024 and should be finished by the end of 2025. If everything goes as planned, the infectious disease research space would be more than triple the current space. In addition, UAMS will then have the opportunity to work on more projects, including Covid-19 research, something that was not the case in the past due to limited resources and space.

The project lead, Dr. Daniel Voth, is confident that UAMS will become a regional infectious disease research leader after the completion of the project.

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