The overall goal of this new scientific core is to provide centralized influenza virology support to enhance the overall structure-function analysis and immunogen discovery activities of the program. Specifically, Core B, housed in the NIAID-Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) at Duke, will provide comprehensive influenza virus stock propagation and high-throughput binding and neutralization assay support. The RBL at Duke is fully approved for BSL2, BSL3, Select Agent and high path avian influenza Risk Group 3 work and is as a multi-disiplanary research support facility at Duke constructed with federal funds to support the NIAID biodefense agenda or other NIAID approved biomedical research activities. These unique services are not available through other facilities at Duke or Harvard. Proposed Core B activities will be specifically utilized by all projects in this renewal P01.
The aims of the Virology Core are: 1) Influenza Strain Collections - develop, maintain and provide a broad panel of purified influenza viruses; and 2) Influenza Humoral Response Monitoring - perform centralized influenza HA binding and microneutralization assays (e. g. human, mouse, and NHP specimens). The inclusion of this new Virology Core will provide a common set of reagents and assays for mechanistic analysis of host immune response for all three projects. Critical to the Core aims and overall goal is an ongoing commitment to development of new assays, quality control monitoring and consultation with all project leaders to anticipate and meet the needs of the investigative teams in a safe, compliant and efficient manner.
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