CDC announces $90M funding to support new Pathogen Genomics Centers of Excellence network

CDC announced 5-year awards to five public health departments to establish the Pathogen Genomics Centers of Excellence (PGCoE) network on September 20, 2022. The PGCoE network is meant to foster and improve innovation and technical capacity in pathogen genomics, molecular epidemiology, and bioinformatics to better prevent, control, and respond to microbial threats of public health importance. The network also represents an unprecedented opportunity to expand and deepen collaboration between U.S. public health agencies and academic institutions to form a national resource to better prevent, control, and respond to microbial threats of public health importance.

Each center of excellence consists of a health department and one or more academic institutions. The five recipients are the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, and the Washington State Department of Health.

View a map of the Pathogen Genomics Centers of Excellence network and a list of the academic partners.

The Centers of Excellence present such an exciting opportunity. Over the last few years, the collective response to COVID-19 fostered a huge amount of creativity and collaboration between academia and public health in pathogen genomics. The Centers of Excellence will serve as a platform for ongoing partnership and innovation to inform how we tackle infectious disease threats.

CAPT (USPHS) Ellie Click, M.D., Ph.D. CDC’s Lead for Extramural Innovation, Office of AMD

Combined, the PGCOEs will serve as a network to:

  • perform a landscape analysis of gaps, needs, and opportunities for pathogen genomics in the United States public health system.
  • pilot and implement genomics technologies and applications for public health.
  • provide training in pathogen genomics for the public health workforce.
  • prepare for and respond to infectious disease threats.

Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC has worked with public health laboratories, academic and clinical laboratories, national organizations (e.g., Association of Public Health Laboratories), and large private sector diagnostic networks to establish and expand a comprehensive genomic surveillance effort focused on large-scale sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.

Academic partners have mobilized scientific resources and built collaborative partnerships to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These partnerships have led to innovative applications of genomic epidemiology for public health. The PGCoE network will build on these collaborations to address SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens of public health concern.

CDC announced the competitive cooperative agreement to establish the PGCoE network on March 1, 2022. View the full funding information (CDC-RFA-CK22-2204) and the Q&A page.