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Office of Biodefense Research

The Office of Biodefense Research (OBR) conducts and supports much of the research aimed at developing new and improved medical tools against potential bioterrorism agents. Since 2001, NIAID has greatly accelerated its biodefense research program, launching several new initiatives to catalyze development of vaccines, therapies, and diagnostic tests.

OBR plans, coordinates, implements, and supports the biodefense research efforts of NIAID, including critical research to develop medical countermeasures against

  • Biological threats
  • Radiological/nuclear threats
  • Chemical threats

NIAID has set research priorities and goals for each microorganism that might be used as an agent of bioterrorism, with particular emphasis on "Category A" agents—those considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be the worst bioterror threats.

NIAID has made substantial progress in biodefense research; however, much remains to be accomplished. Our experience with HIV/AIDS, and the many life-saving advances that have resulted from NIAID-sponsored HIV/AIDS research, provides a model of what can be accomplished with proper commitment to biodefense research. Building on this experience, we fully expect that our scientists will develop the tools of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention that allow us to respond to, and likely deter, future bioterrorist attacks on our nation.

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Last Updated March 15, 2010