FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 4, 2003
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced grants totaling approximately $350 million spread over five years to establish eight Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (RCE). This nationwide group of multidisciplinary centers is a key element in HHS’ strategic plan for biodefense research.
We have moved with unprecedented speed and determination to prepare for a bioterror attack or any other public health crisis since the terrorist attacks of 2001,” Secretary Thompson said. “These new grants add to this effort and will not only better prepare us for a bioterrorism attack, but will also enhance our ability to deal with any public health crisis, such as SARS and West Nile virus.”
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of HHS’ National Institutes of Health, is providing the grants and will administer the RCE program.
“Since the terrorist attacks on American soil in 2001, NIAID has moved rapidly to bolster basic biomedical research and the development of countermeasures to defend the United States against deliberately released agents of bioterrorism as well as naturally occurring infectious diseases,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID director. “The new RCE program provides a coordinated and comprehensive mechanism to support the interdisciplinary research that will lead to new and improved therapies, vaccines, diagnostics and other tools to protect the citizens of our country and the world against the threat of bioterrorism and other emerging and re-emerging diseases.”
The RCE program’s primary role is to foster the physical and intellectual environments in which wide-ranging research on infectious diseases can proceed productively and safely. All RCEs will:
Each center comprises a lead institution and affiliated institutions located primarily in the same geographical region. The eight institutions receiving an RCE grant and the principal investigator at each are:
Research to be conducted in the RCE program includes:
In addition to the eight RCEs, NIAID is funding two Planning Grants for Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (P-RCEs). The P-RCEs will support training, planning, research development and resource acquisition that could lead to the future establishment of a regional center. The lead institutions and principal investigators of the P-RCEs are:
Additional information on NIAID’s biodefense program is available at biodefense
Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of
infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News
releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at www.niaid.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research,
and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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Last Updated September 04, 2003