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Congressman Higgins announces $1 million in funding for UB pandemic preparedness

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Posted at 10:47 AM, Sep 22, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Congressman Brian Higgins announced Thursday a $1 million federal grant to support the development of an early warning system for future pandemics.

The federal grant was funded by the National Science Foundation and awarded through the first phase of the Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention Initiative project led by University at Buffalo biochemistry professor, Jennifer Surtees.

The federal grant will also help to rebuild community support around public health matters.

"Of the many things we have learned from this crisis, the most important is that we must be better prepared for future pandemics," Higgins said. "Thanks to this investment from the National Science Foundation, we are creating the technology to track viruses early and working with community partners to rebuild trust in the public health system."

In addition to the above, the grant will allow researchers to work with Erie County's Department of Health to not only develop more efficient strategies to communicate the risks of a pandemic to the public but mitigate the impact of future pandemics.