Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., one of the world leaders in serving science, has committed to supporting the efforts of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. to make COVID-19 testing available to all returning students, faculty and staff at the beginning of the fall semester. Through an initiative called "The Just Project," named after pioneering biologist Ernest Everett Just, Thermo Fisher plans to donate $15 million in diagnostic instruments, test kits and related supplies. The company will also provide technical assistance to HBCUs seeking to establish or expand their laboratories to provide regular on-campus COVID-19 testing throughout the 2020-21 school year.
August 14, 2020
Xavier University of Louisiana, in addition to Howard University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, and Hampton University will be among the first HBCUs to receive donations. Their laboratories, which are expected to join the initiative over the next several weeks, will provide COVID-19 testing for their campuses and will also test samples from other HBCUs across the country.
"As we prepare to return to campus this fall, COVID-19 testing that is easily accessible will be a key element in maintaining the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff. During the past month, our nation and the state of Louisiana have seen a significant rise in COVID-19 cases," said Dr. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University of Louisiana. "This initiative will enable us to ensure that our campus community will have a safe learning environment upon returning. Xavier is pleased to collaborate with Thermo Fisher in this effort that expands COVID-19 testing in our region and supports the reopening of our institutions."
HBCUs receiving these donations have committed to use the donated equipment solely to offer COVID-19 testing to HBCU faculty, staff and students at no cost.
Fred Lowery, senior vice president and president, Life Sciences Solutions and Laboratory Products at Thermo Fisher Scientific said, "The pandemic has disproportionately affected the Black community, and historically black colleges and universities have taken a leadership role in making testing available in order to safely reopen this fall. These schools play an important role in closing the achievement gap in America and consistently train talented STEM professionals who are invaluable to companies like ours seeking to attract top talent and build a more inclusive workplace."
Lowery added, "Given the value we place on recruiting diverse talent, we have also committed to hiring at least 500 students from these institutions over the next three years."
Since the pandemic hit, Thermo Fisher has sought to increase access to COVID-19 tests. The company has increased its production of COVID-19 tests, instruments and supplies and has been working closely with public and private laboratories to scale up national testing capacity, including mobilizing testing facilities across more than 30 states. The company currently has the capacity to produce more than 10 million tests a week.
For more information on The Just Project, please click here.
About Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue exceeding $25 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, improving patient diagnostics and therapies or increasing productivity in their laboratories, we are here to support them. Our global team of more than 75,000 colleagues delivers an unrivaled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services and Patheon. For more information, please visit www.thermofisher.com.
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