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Immunology Center will continue to drive standard methods, better science
Date:12/11/2008

The Rochester Human Immunology Center (RHIC) has been awarded a $4 million renewal of its grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Disease (NIAID). The renewal enables RHIC to continue leading the field of immunology in a worldwide effort to standardize how researchers use complex technologies like flow cytometry that are central to the discovery of new treatments.

When standardization is achieved, researchers will be better able to compare data collected worldwide, with the results of many studies combined into massive datasets to guide the construction of hyper-accurate computer models of the mechanisms of disease. Such simulations will yield scientific conclusions that are dramatically more valid and reproducible in areas like infectious disease, transplantation and cancer, researchers said. The resulting sophistication in understanding of the human immune system, and of how it responds to influenza, HIV or smallpox for instance, will guide the more precise design of near-future vaccines.

Since its founding four years ago, the RHIC has proven that it can drive the development of standard operating procedures, having helped more than 39 investigators and teams standardize their testing, and lending expertise that helped lead to the winning of 22 major grants. As an internationally known resource, the RHIC is part of working groups seeking to standardize methods for analyzing flu viruses and HIV in partnership with the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at NIAID, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the New York Influenza Center of Excellence.

"Standardizing test methods to achieve comparable results goes far beyond being able to compare apples to apples," said Sally Quataert, Ph.D., director of Core Facilities for the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and co-principle investigator for the grant renewal. "Validated methods assure researchers that their experimental results are
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Contact: Greg Williams
Greg_Williams@urmc.rochester.edu
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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