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New NIAID grants strengthen national biodefense and emerging infectious diseases research network

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced four-year grants totaling approximately $80 million for two new Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (RCE). The grants to the University of California, Irvine, and Colorado State University (Fort Collins) mark the completion of a national network of academic centers that conducts research to counter threats from bioterror agents and emerging infectious diseases. Each institution will receive approximately $10 million per year for the next four years to head a regional research consortium. The RCE network was identified as a national priority in the 2002 NIAID Biodefense Research Agenda.

"Since before the 2001 anthrax attacks, the United States has been at risk for a bioterror attack. With these grants, a key element of our strategic plan to counter bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases is now complete," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIAID. "Our network is working diligently to uncover new knowledge and create preventive, therapeutic and diagnostic tools that will leave us far less vulnerable."

NIAID established the RCE network in 2003 with grants to eight institutions. Each institution also leads an RCE consortium made up of universities and other research institutions within its geographic region. The network conducts research that will lead to next-generation treatments, vaccines and diagnostic tools for diseases such as anthrax, plague, smallpox, tularemia, botulism and West Nile fever.

University of California, Irvine, principal investigator Alan G. Barbour, M.D., will head a consortium whose members include four additional University of California campuses and 11 other regional universities and research institutions.

Colorado State University principal investigator Barry J. Beaty, Ph.D., will head a consortium whose members include five o
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Source:NIH


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