TTU lab says grant for COVID-19 research is ‘a lifesaver’

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas – Dr. Steve Presley, Director of the Texas Tech Biological Threat Research Laboratory (BTRL), said the $2.23 million grant awarded by the Texas Department of State Health Services is a “lifesaver.”

The BTRL was the first laboratory in Texas to initiate COVID-19 testing back in February. Currently, the lab has tested over 9,500 COVID samples from 67 counties across West Texas, spanning from the Panhandle to San Angelo.

“We work about 16 hours a day and seven days a week,” said Presley. “We guarantee a 24 hour turnaround from the time we receive the sample until we report out the results.”

DSHS awarded Presley’s staff the grant for their work on COVID-19 research. Presley said the BTRL is in the early stages of developing their own vaccine and treatment to fight the virus.

“The grant allows us to continue our testing and the spinoff research that will come from the things we learn through this COVID pandemic,” said Presley.

But Presley said even without the grant dollars, it would still be an honor to serve the people of Lubbock and the entire state of Texas.

“It’s rewarding to me and the folks that work with me,” said Presley.

So far, none of Presley’s 30 employees have tested positive for coronavirus.

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