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Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (RCEs)

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NIAID established the Regional Centers of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (RCE) program in 2003 to support research focused on countering threats from bioterror agents and emerging infectious diseases. Initial funding established 8 RCEs, with two more funded in 2005. Each Center included a consortium of universities and research institutions within a specific geographical region. In 2009, funding for the 10 original Centers was renewed and a new Center was established.

The RCE program built and maintained a strong scientific infrastructure supporting multifaceted research and development activities that promoted scientific discovery and translational research focused on creating next generation therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. Research supported by the RCEs spanned a broad range of biodefense and emerging infectious disease topics including

  • Basic research on bacterial and viral disease processes
  • New therapeutic approaches to block the action of anthrax, botulinum, and cholera toxins
  • Developing candidate vaccines against anthrax, plague, tularemia, smallpox, and hemorrhagic fevers
  • Exploring immunization strategies and innovative therapeutic/vaccine delivery systems
  • Developing candidate antibiotics and other therapeutics
  • Designing advanced diagnostic methods and devices
  • Conducting immunological studies of host-pathogen interactions
  • Developing computational and genomic approaches for studying infectious diseases

The RCE program ended in 2014. That same year NIAID established the Centers of Excellence for Translational Research (CETR) to build on the work of previous NIAID-supported research and development programs, including the RCEs.

RCE Sites

Region I
Harvard Medical School
New England Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
PI: Dr. Dennis Kasper

Region II
Columbia University
Northeast Biodefense Center
PI: Dr. W. Ian Lipkin

Region III
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Mid-Atlantic Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
PI: Dr. Myron Levine

Region IV
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Southeast Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
PI: Dr. Fred Sparling

Region V
University of Chicago
Great Lakes Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
PI: Dr. Olaf Schneewind

Region VI
University of Texas Medical Branch
Western Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
PI: Dr. David Walker

Region VII
Washington University
Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
PI: Dr. Herbert "Skip" Virgin

Region VIII
Colorado State University (Fort Collins)
Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence
PI: Dr. John Belisle

Region IX
University of California, Irvine
Pacific-Southwest Regional Center of Excellence
PI: Dr. Alan G. Barbour

Region X
Oregon Health & Science University (funded in 2009)
Pacific Northwest Regional Center of Excellence
PI: Dr. Jay Nelson

University of Washington
Northwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research
PI: Dr. Samuel Miller

Contact

For more information about the RCE program, please contact Dr. Michael Schaefer, mschaefer@niaid.nih.gov.

Last Updated October 23, 2014