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LSU Health Sciences Center Wins $2.4M to Lead SARS-CoV-2 Variant Sequencing Program

NEW YORK — The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center said last week that it has received $2.4 million from the National Institutes of Health and the Louisiana Department of Health, or LDH, to oversee a project sequencing SARS-CoV-2 variants.

LSU Health said that the initiative will sequence SARS-CoV-2 samples from breakthrough cases, reinfected individuals, the unvaccinated, and vulnerable individuals such as cancer patients, transplant recipients, and those receiving immunosuppressant drugs. Samples will also be taken from underserved and minority patients, with Xavier University performing community engagement and health literacy work for those populations.

The LDH and the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine will handle patient sampling, and sequencing will be performed by LSU Health New Orleans. Analytics and data interpretation will be conducted in collaboration with Louisiana-based informatics firm BIE.

The funding comes from a contract with the LDH and from a supplement to the Louisiana Clinical & Translational Science Center grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.