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GEN News Highlights : Jun 13, 2011

DoD Pledges $4.6M to Establish Infection Genomics Center at UTSA

Center of excellence will focus on genomics and vaccine development for military-relevant infectious organisms.

The South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will receive $4.6 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Army Research Office to establish a Center of Excellence in Infection Genomics (CIEG). The center will carry out microbiology research, teaching, and outreach in line with U.S. Army priorities.

The CEIG’s scientific programs will focus on four core areas: the genomics of intestinal and respiratory pathogens; biochemistry and molecular biology of vector-borne pathogens; the immunopathogenesis of fungal infections and antifungal drug development; and vaccine development. Researchers will work closely with the Army Research Office and with specialists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, as well as the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

“This new center is a winning proposition for both UTSA and the military," comments Bernard Arulanandam, Ph.D., UTSA’s Jane and Roland Blumberg Professor of Biology and associate dean of research for scientific innovation at the UTSA College of Sciences. “UTSA researchers will study infectious organisms that threaten the army here and abroad, and develop technology to translate that research into practical solutions for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease.”