Special Edition: Dec. 27, 2011
University Lung Research Awarded $4.7 Million Contract to Establish Respiratory Pathogens Research Center
Computer-generated model of how the human immune system responds to the influenza virus
The Medical Center has been awarded $4.7 million from the federal government, with several options for additional funding, to establish a center to study the germs that cause lung disease.
The agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, took effect earlier this month. The agreement, renewable on a year-by-year basis, could last potentially for seven years. If the agreement lasts the full seven years, contract funding may be at least $35 million, and support could reach as much as $50 million, if NIAID exercises all its options. University officials expect the contract to create or retain a total of approximately 250 jobs at the University—a mix of laboratory technicians, study coordinators, nurses, information analysts, scientists, and others.
The center is being established by NIH to help protect citizens against bacteria and viruses that take aim at the respiratory system. These cause pneumonia and flu, as well as a host of other infections caused by lesser-known but still-deadly microbes such as coronaviruses, metapneumoviruses, parainfluenza viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus, as well as a host of bacteria.
The creation of the center places the University at the vanguard of the health of the nation’s citizens. The new center, known as the Respiratory Pathogens Research Center, effectively puts University scientists “on call” in the realm of respiratory infections. In times of national need, center personnel are available at the request of federal officials to take on urgent projects to inform public health needs. Read more...