Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, announced continuing support for The Just Project, a national initiative to provide COVID-19 testing to students, faculty and staff across more than 60 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) at no cost. A $7.5 million commitment for the 2021-2022 school year will once again provide diagnostic instruments, test kits and related supplies.
“A year after we launched The Just Project, COVID-19 cases are increasing again, and testing is critical to ensuring campus safety,” said Fred Lowery, senior vice president and president for customer channels at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Last year HBCUs nationwide administered more than 50,000 tests under the project, and infection rates at participating schools were below 1% with minimal academic disruption. We hope other schools will join the program as we extend it through the 2021-2022 school year.”
The Just Project, named after pioneering biologist Ernest Everett Just, has created a nationwide testing infrastructure with the capacity to provide free testing for all 107 HBCUs in the U.S. Currently, eight on-campus labs serve as hubs to process samples for more than 60 participating HBCUs. Testing hubs include Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University College of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Texas Southern University, Tuskegee University and Xavier University of Louisiana.
“The Just Project has made a significant difference on our campus,” said Rashid Mosavin, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Texas Southern University. “With testing available on our campus as frequently as needed, we were able to welcome our students, faculty and staff back to campus for in-person learning with confidence.”
James E.K. Hildreth, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Meharry Medical College said, “We’re grateful for Thermo Fisher’s continued support of COVID-19 testing across HBCUs to serve a broad reach of their students. Testing is the core component of a robust model in preventing the spread of infectious disease. With these resources and testing components in place, we’re able to make data-driven decisions and policies to support the health and safety of our students and community.”
Given the focus on recruiting diverse talent, Thermo Fisher has also committed to hiring more than 500 HBCU alumni over three years, reinforcing a commitment to create a more inclusive workplace. Since August of 2020, more than 180 HBCU alumni have joined the company.
About Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue of approximately $35 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 90,000 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.