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NIAID unveils bioterrorism research agenda

tions to bioterrorism research over the years. In fiscal year 2003, the President proposes a $1.2 billion increase in bioterrorism funding for NIAID. The government's renewed focus on bioterrorism research will enable NIAID to expand ongoing projects and to establish much-needed new initiatives to prepare for potential bioterrorism attacks. New programs will involve traditional grants with academic researchers and institutions plus new models for government-industry partnerships.

According to NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., the proposed increase in research funding will also pay big benefits to other research. "In recent years, we have witnessed several emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases that have presented us with many of the same challenges as bioterrorism, namely identifying changing threats and preparing for them to appear at any time," he says. "In addition, people lack immunity to emerging diseases, and effective treatments are not always known. The influx of resources and renewed energy into infectious diseases research will no doubt help us enormously in tackling naturally occurring illnesses such as drug-resistant tuberculosis and influenza." Dr. Fauci also describes how increased basic research in immunology, including studies of the body's broadly protective innate immune system, should lead to additional advances in many non-infectious diseases such as cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The Research Agenda describes two separate but necessary arms of biomedical research. Basic research will continue to provide the framework for scientific and medical advances, and applied research will move laboratory developments into products that can be used to protect the public from disease. The agenda divides research on each Category A microbe into six key elements:

  • Microbial biology. Increased basic research will help scientists acquire comprehensive information on the biology and disease-causing
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Contact: Sam Perdue
sp189u@nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
14-Mar-2002


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