ASM Leads Joint Letter Supporting CDC Advanced Molecular Detection Program

Nov. 3, 2023

The Honorable Kay Granger
Chair, Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Ranking Member, Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Patty Murray
Chair, Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
The Honorable Susan Collins
Vice Chair, Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate

Dear Chair Granger, Chair Murray, Ranking Member DeLauro and Vice Chair Collins: 

We, the undersigned professional societies and associations, academic institutions and companies representing a broad range of scientific, public health and clinical professionals, thank you for your past support of the Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We urge you to provide the highest funding level possible for this program as you negotiate the fiscal year (FY) 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Related Agencies spending bill.   

We appreciate that in a year of significant budgetary constraints, both the House and Senate subcommittees reaffirmed the program’s current annual funding level of $40 million. However, this level falls far short of the $175 million required for the program, given its increasing importance to our nation’s public health response to infectious disease threats. This funding level aligns with the level authorized in the Tracking Pathogens Act, which was enacted as part of the year-end legislative package in 2022. 

As we move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMD program serves as a core capacity at CDC, supporting multiple programs across the agency, forming new partnerships within and outside traditional public health and continuing to innovate so that cutting edge genomic and bioinformatic technologies can be deployed on the front lines of public health throughout the country and around the globe. While it plays an indispensable role in the U.S. response to ongoing respiratory disease threats, such as new COVID-19 variants, the AMD program’s work is much broader. It supports every state in the U.S. for a wide range of pathogens and public health applications. By bringing precision medicine to public health, the program gives the nation new tools to detect disease more quickly and more accurately to identify outbreaks sooner, thus protecting people from emerging and evolving disease threats, whether seasonal, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), endemic, such as Lyme disease, or epidemic in nature. Beyond pathogen surveillance, public health sequencing work informs vaccine development, helps to identify and track antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and foodborne illness and informs the development of diagnostics for new, existing and emerging diseases.   

Thanks to Congressional actions over the past 2 years, the AMD program has forged innovative partnerships between public health agencies and academic laboratories in 5 states through new Pathogen Genomics Centers of Excellence. These centers will ensure that our public health system can continue to benefit from rapidly evolving, cutting-edge science and technology that is driven by research institutions and well-connected to public health.   

Through expanded training, regional workforce development and investment in shared technology services, AMD  also is helping to ensure that the nation’s public health microbiologists, epidemiologists and other health care professionals have the tools needed to apply biotechnology-driven innovations to complex problems. This enables higher quality data and analytics that CDC and its public health partners can use to detect outbreaks sooner, respond more effectively and ensure that these tools are available in laboratories across the U.S.  

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the AMD program, which has employed next generation sequencing (NGS) to bring the concept of precision medicine to bear for “precision public health.” We urge you to provide at least $40 million for the program in FY 2024 with a goal of $175 million to ensure this work can continue now and into the future for the betterment of public health. We thank you for your consideration of our request.

American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) 
American Institute of Biological Sciences 
American Medical Technologists 
American Mosquito Control Association  
American Society for Clinical Pathology 
American Society for Microbiology 
American Society for Virology 
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene  
Anastasia Mosquito Control District 
Association for Diagnostics and Laboratory Medicine 
Association for Molecular Pathology 
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology 
Association of Public Health Laboratories 
Big Cities Health Coalition 
Biophysical Society 
Boston University 
Clear Labs 
Coalition for the Life Sciences 
Codus Medicus  
College of American Pathologists  
Emory University 
Entomological Society of America 
Georgia Institute of Technology 
Gerontological Society of America  
Global Health Technologies Coalition 
Illumina, Inc 
Infectious Diseases Society of America  
Pacific Southwest Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases 
Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit 
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 
Trust for America's Health 
University of Virginia 
University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine 
US Biologic, Inc.  

Author: ASM Advocacy

ASM Advocacy
ASM Advocacy is making it easy and providing opportunities for members to advocate for evidence-based scientific policy.