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OHSU scientists partner with others to form center aimed at combating infectious diseases
Date:4/15/2009

PORTLAND, Ore. Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Washington, along with a number of partner institutions across the Northwest, have received federal funding to form a regional research center aimed at combating emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases that pose a serious threat to human health.

Based at OHSU, the collaborative Pacific Northwest Regional Center for Excellence (PNWRCE) for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases was established through a five-year, $40.7 million cooperative agreement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health. Jay Nelson, Ph.D., is director of the PNWRCE and OHSU's Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI), and Michael Katze, Ph.D., UW professor of microbiology, is co-director of the PNWRCE.

"Since the anthrax attacks in 2001, the country has rapidly expanded our ability to detect and combat infectious diseases whether they are spread naturally or through a bioterrorist attack," said Dr. Nelson. "These regional research centers located across the country serve to better protect the population while at the same time conducting research aimed at preventing or successfully combating a public health crisis recent examples would include threats posed in the past few years by influenza, West Nile virus and SARS."

Members of the PNWRCE will work closely with public health departments in all participating Northwest states in training and research. The members will also collaborate with newly funded science initiatives within the state such as the Oregon Translational Research and Drug Development Institute. OTRADI provides crucial research services to Oregon researchers involved in pharmaceutical development and will be an important partner in the research.

PNWRCE researchers will study a broad range of diseases and viruses, including Ebola, Dengue, SARS, avian and 1918 influenza, dengue f
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Contact: Jim Newman
newmanj@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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