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NSF, NIH award Ecology of Infectious Disease grants
Date:9/18/2008

Unprecedented changes in biodiversity have coincided with the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases around the world.

To address this problem, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have announced $16 million in funding for eight projects under the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (EID) program, a multi-year, joint-agency effort now in its ninth year of funding.

"In a time of rapid global change, the one certainty is that emerging infectious diseases will be more common," said James Collins, NSF assistant director for biological sciences. "These new EID research awards will support the basic studies needed to predict the timing and severity of the emergence and spread of these diseases."

NSF's contribution to the EID program is from its Directorates for Biological Sciences; Geosciences; and Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences.

Interdisciplinary projects funded through the EID program will study how large-scale environmental events -- such as climate change, habitat destruction, biological invasions, pollution and a variety of interventions -- alter the risks of viral, parasitic and bacterial diseases in humans and animals.

"Ecological studies of infectious diseases are beginning to move from basic science to translational research," said Joshua Rosenthal, EID program director at NIH's Fogarty International Center. "The results will help us to better manage these diseases."

The studies will contribute knowledge and analytical tools that will help public-health officials, wildlife managers, farmers and others to control the spread of diseases among humans, domestic and wild animals, and crops, say EID scientists.

This year's awards support research on:

  • Bacterial pathogens and human infectious diseases in an estuary subjected to extreme climatic events (Rachel Noble, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill);


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Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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