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SUNY Upstate Medical University Opens New Lab To Study And Monitor Infectious Diseases

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John Smith
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WAER News

A new  $7.6 million lab at SUNY Upstate Medical University aims to allow researchers to investigate infectious diseases such as Lyme Disease, COVID-19, and others like them. Officials cut the ribbon today on what’s called the Vector Biocontainment Lab.   Upstate Medical President Dr. Mantosh Dewan says SUNY experts have been at the forefront of the field.

Mr. Middleton created the world's best saliva test.  Dr. Thomas spent most of his time on TV, giving easy to understand scientific advice in support of briefings by either the county executive or the mayor.  Teasing aside, that was extremely helpful.  In his spare time, Dr. Thomas served as the lead worldwide investigator and helped us bring the Pfizer vaccine.”                                    

Hearing that viral diseases are being studied locally may make some uneasy.  But there are a multitude of safeguards in the lab, from PPE vestibules to a “Liquid Decontamination Suite.” Lab director Dr. Saravanan Thanagami says there’s a monitoring system built into every suite.

"Every single researcher who comes in. what happens in all four suites.   If something goes wrong, it will alert here and they will immediately call me.  In addition to that, it is connected to my computer so I will have 24/7 monitoring of all the building automations so if something goes wrong, it will come up on my screen”                                                            

The creation of this lab was the culmination of the NY-SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant, which helped fund the project. The lab will be housed at The Institute of Human Performance on Irving Avenue. More information on the lab and its projects is at Upstate.edu.

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Credit John Smith / WAER News
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WAER News

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.