HAMPTON, Va. (Sept. 10, 2020) – Hampton University is among one of the first HBCUs to receive COVID-19 testing equipment from Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. The $2.3 million donation is part of Thermo Fisher’s efforts to support HBCUs in the U.S. to make COVID-19 testing available to all students, faculty and staff when they return to campus.
Through an initiative called “The Just Project,” named after pioneering biologist Ernest Everett Just, Thermo Fisher is donating $2.3 million in diagnostic instruments, test kits and related supplies, along with providing technical assistance to establish or expand laboratories to provide regular on-campus COVID-19 testing throughout the 2020-21 school year.
“Hampton University is one of the first institutions that Thermo Fisher has donated $2.3 million in instruments and equipment that will help our students, faculty and staff come back to campus, safely. Thermo Fisher’s generosity will ensure that Hampton University can provide a healthy environment for everyone on campus during this global pandemic,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
Hampton’s laboratories, along with a few other HBCUs like Howard University and Morehouse School of Medicine, will provide COVID-19 testing for the entire campus and will also test samples from other HBCUs across the country. Hampton has committed to using the donated equipment solely to offer COVID-19 testing to 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.
“The drastic increase in the number of coronavirus infections has put racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19 (CDC, 2020). The investment that Thermo Fisher Scientific, Corporation has made by donating laboratory equipment, reagents, consumables, and technical consultation is assisting Hampton University and several other HBCUs to keep our campus constituent groups safe. We are grateful for the discernable commitment displayed by Mr. Marc N. Casper, Chairman, President and CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific Corporation and his team. We are also thankful for ELLKAY, LLC and CareEvolve (an ELLKAY company) for their technical consultation,” said Dr. Michelle Penn-Marshall, Hampton University Vice President for Research, Associate Provost and Dean, Graduate College. “Our University President of the past 43 years, Dr. William R. Harvey, is Hampton’s visionary leader who believes in the team approach. The contributions of Drs. Luisel Ricks-Santi, Simone Heyliger, Alissa Harrison, Princess Lipscomb, and Mr. Timothy Carnes are helping Hampton to bring this important project into fruition.”
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.