A facility for the Nebraska Center for Virology (NCV), an NCRR Center of Biomedical Research Excellence, is the highest facility construction priority of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). NCV scientists conduct basic research on human, animal, and plant viruses, including HIV, herpesvirus, human papillomavirus, PRRSV, and zoonotic viral diseases, with the ultimate goal of developing new strategies to treat and prevent disease. NCV research has contributed substantially to UNL's five-year, 336% increase in PHS funding, success that has led to a critical shortage in biomedical research space. NCV scientists are scattered across two campuses, impeding research and expansion of NCV programs. This lack of space has led to the loss of two senior scientists and is hindering planned recruitment. The urgent need for research space compelled UNL to initiate construction of a 60,000 square foot facility shell. The objective of this proposal is to fit-out this shell, completing a facility to house NCV scientists, students, and staff, locating all UNL infectious disease researchers in close proximity and making maximum use of adjacent veterinary and biomedical research facilities.
Specific aims of the proposal are to: 1. Provide a centralized, expandable facility housing human, animal, and plant virologists, creating exceptional opportunities to collaborate on model systems, leading to new approaches to understanding and treating infectious disease; 2. Increase high quality research space to enable expansion of NCV programs and other high-priority biomedical research; 3. Develop a facility anchoring an infectious disease research complex for basic research against emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.