MSU Billings alumnus inducted into Montana Bioscience Alliance Hall of Fame

Montana State University Billings alumnus Jon Laurent, Ph.D., was recently inducted into the Montana Bioscience Alliance Hall of Fame for his critical role in COVID-19 testing research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, Laurent was working as a postdoctoral research fellow at New York University Langone Health when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. He and his colleagues were already aware that the country was facing a serious outbreak.

“New York City became the epicenter early in the pandemic and was quickly overwhelmed,” Laurent said. “Our lab on the NYU Langone campus was right across the street from the main Manhattan morgue. We could see it and were right in the middle of it all.”

As a result, Laurent co-founded the Pandemic Response Lab. At the time, Laurent had developed methods for high-throughput investigation of genetic disorders using technology platforms that were also applicable to large-scale COVID-19 testing. His research quickly switched to pivoting the platform to provide rapid and accurate testing to help combat the disease in New York City and around the country.

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