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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — University of Arizona researchers have received a $1.9 million federal grant to try to find ways to prevent a deadly disease that affects thousands of premature infants annually.

According to the university, the Steele Children’s Research Center researchers will try to create a test to accurately predict whether a premature baby may be susceptible to necrotizing enterocolitis.

Researcher and study leader Melissa Halpern says the test would enable treatment to prevent the disease from developing.

The four-year grant is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.