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URI awarded $13 million grant to develop vaccines for emerging infectious diseases
Date:7/28/2009

PROVIDENCE, R.I. July 28, 2009 -- University of Rhode Island Professor Annie De Groot has been awarded a $13 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to pioneer the development and application of an integrated gene-to-vaccine program targeting emerging infectious diseases. It is the second multi-million dollar NIH grant awarded to URI researchers in recent months, coming on the heels of an $18 million award to a pharmacy professor in May.

De Groot, who joined the faculty of the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences just six months ago and who directs the University's Institute for Immunology and Informatics, said the new Translational Immunology Research and Accelerated Vaccine Development (TRIAD) program will integrate vaccine design studies in silico (via computer simulation) with in vitro and in vivo research.

"While the NIH grant is Professor De Groot's first award since joining the URI faculty, she has an outstanding track record of earning significant funding in her previous position at Brown University and at EpiVax, now totaling more than $25 million," said URI President David Dooley. "We are immensely proud of her accomplishments, and I am confident that her work will continue to strengthen the research enterprise at the University and will provide exciting opportunities for technology transfer."

"This grant is a dream come true," said De Groot, president of the biotechnology company EpiVax. "The TRIAD grant provides a team of researchers based right here in Rhode Island with the exciting opportunity to collaborate across disciplines and to teach the next generation of scientists to use tools that are accelerating the development of vaccines and therapeutics."

The NIH funds will enable De Groot and URI colleagues Thomas Mather and Lenny Moise to collaborate with Steve Moss and Steve Gregory of Lifespan and Bill Martin of EpiVax to develop vaccines that will address emerging infectious
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Contact: Todd McLeish
tmcleish@uri.edu
401-874-7892
University of Rhode Island
Source:Eurekalert

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