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VBI awarded $27 million from NIH to support infectious disease research
Date:10/5/2009

Blacksburg, Va. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded a five-year, $27,670,448 contract to the CyberInfrastructure Group (CIG) of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech to support the biomedical research community's work on infectious diseases. The funding will be used to integrate vital information on pathogens, provide key resources and tools to scientists, and help researchers to analyze genomic, proteomic, and other data arising from infectious disease research.

Bruno Sobral, professor and director of CIG and principal investigator of the project, commented: "The new award from the NIH will allow us to continue our work to support infectious disease research and the development of vaccine, diagnostic, or therapeutic targets for countermeasures. Over the past five years, VBI's CIG has led its own Bioinformatics Resource Center (BRC), PATRIC, and worked with other leading BRCs across the country to put in place informatics-based capabilities deployed as large-scale information systems." He added: "As we move ahead, we will be working hand-in-hand with a wide range of partners, including medical schools and public health institutions interested in translating the very latest scientific discoveries and innovation into practical health benefits for society at large."

The overall NIAID program will comprise four new Bioinformatics Resource Centers or BRCs and a new gateway portal for the entire project. Each BRC will focus on one of the following pathogen types: bacterial species; viral families; protozoan species; and invertebrate vectors of human pathogens. CIG will develop, implement, and manage the BRC for selected NIAID category A-C priority bacterial species* and it will also develop the new gateway portal for the entire BRC program, which will be called the Pathogen Portal. Sobral remarked, "PATRIC 2.0 will position CIG to han
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Contact: Barry Whyte
whyte@vbi.vt.edu
540-231-1767
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

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