JACKSON — The new Mississippi State Public Health Laboratory currently under construction will now bear the name of the health official who pushed for its completion – former State Health Officer Dr. Ed Thompson.
Thompson served as state health officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) from 1993 to 2002 and was named interim state health officer in July 2007. He was later reappointed to the permanent position of state health officer in Dec. 2007. Thompson also served as state epidemiologist from 1983 to 1993.
He died Dec. 1, 2009, after a long battle with cancer.
The new $25-million laboratory will be 60,000 square feet, twice the size of the current lab, originally built more than 50 years ago. State-of-the-art laboratory equipment in the new facility will allow the agency to efficiently detect infectious diseases, identify harmful environmental contaminants and rapidly respond to biological terrorism agents. Construction of the Dr. F.E. “Ed” Thompson, Jr. State Public Health Laboratory is slated for completion in the fall.