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NIAID awards $47 million to develop medical countermeasures against radiological, nuclear threats

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has issued more than $47 million for grants, contracts and interagency agreements as part of a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) research program on Medical Countermeasures Against Radiological and Nuclear Threats. This program emphasizes product development and seeks to develop preventions and treatments for radiation sickness following a terrorist attack.

"Radiological 'dirty bombs' or nuclear explosive devices are among the potential terrorist threats Americans face. Our new medical countermeasures program will help protect the public from radiation should such an attack ever occur," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

NIAID is the lead institute at NIH for the development of biodefense countermeasures. Its research portfolio includes many in-depth studies of the immune system, which is especially vulnerable to radiation. For these reasons, the Department of Health and Human Services asked NIAID to coordinate and lead the development of a robust NIH research program on medical countermeasures to radiation.

Funding for this program is from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness. Twelve grants, four contracts and two interagency agreements have recently been formalized through this new NIH research program. While each award has a specific focus connected to product development or basic research, the sum of the efforts covers the necessary components to develop medical countermeasures from concept through licensure.

Centers for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation

Eight universities or research institutes have received grants to establish Centers for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation. These centers will focus on basic and applied research to develop new products for measuring radiation exposure, to protect against exposure and to minimize and treat the effects of exposure to a
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Contact: Linda Joy
ljoy@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
12-Oct-2005


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