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Georgia building on research strengths with new initiative

June 10, 2021

The Georgia Research Alliance has announced a new five-year initiative to fight sickle cell disease that will include creation of a GRA Eminent Scholar chair at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). The Calvin Smyre GRA Eminent Scholar Chair, named for Rep. Calvin Smyre, currently the longest-serving member of the Georgia General Assembly, will be endowed with public and private funds and is the cornerstone of the new GRA initiative, which proposes funding lab equipment and additional researchers at both MSM and Emory, as well as resources to move discoveries from the university labs to clinics and markets.

In a press release accompanying the announcement, Emory University President Gregory Fenves noted that the university research expertise developed in Georgia over the past several decades has prepared the state to attract more funding for advancing understanding of the disease and developing new treatments. GRA has worked for more than 30 years to expand research and entrepreneurship capacity at public and private universities and grow the state’s economy by driving more investment in the state, working in partnership with the University System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.