UCLA officials today will announce the opening of a first-of-its-kind infectious disease lab capable of rapidly testing high volumes of disease samples. The $32 million lab will dramatically increase the speed of receiving, testing and analyzing samples by automating much of the process, akin to the way pharmaceutical companies test drugs, according to the university. “This has been a project long in the making, six years for identifying what it might look like, to finding funding sources,” according to Dr. Linda Rosenstock, dean of the UCLA School of Public Health. “This is a celebration of people’s big ideas. A lot of people were invested in thinking how best to do it. People are feeling very congratulatory about it.” Rosenstock said the 6,000-square-foot “Global Bio Lab” will be a go-to testing facility for federal, state and local governments during “surge modes,” when quick detection of diseases is critical to halting their spread.