May 202020

UH News, May 19, 2020

The University of Hawaiʻi will help to expand COVID-19 testing capacity on Oʻahu as part of a new partnership with the City and County of Honolulu. 

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the city will provide $3.9 million in funding from the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and additional funding from the Rockefeller Foundation to support the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Tropical Medicine Clinical (TMC) Laboratory

Through this partnership the TMC Lab will collaborate with Community Health Centers across Oʻahu and provide capacity to perform up to 50,000 COVID-19 tests and 49,000 antibody tests through the end of 2020. Funding from the City and County of Honolulu will also support research efforts at the TMC Lab to develop innovative approaches for less invasive and more cost effective COVID-19 testing.

“We’re really excited about this opportunity to collaborate with the city and county, the mayor and his team to leverage our facilities and our faculty expertise,” UH President David Lassner said. “This lab will also be a crucial component for our ability to open the University of Hawaiʻi for the fall.”

The lab will operate out of the UH Mānoa (JABSOM’s Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology. Vivek Nerurkar, professor and chair of the Department of Tropical Medicine will lead the operation alongside a leadership team that reflects UH‘s extensive expertise in virology, bacteriology, parasitology, and immunology.