The overall objective for this COBRE is to build upon the substantial accomplishments of the previous funding period and continue efforts toward establishing a Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research (CEIDR) led by the Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge (LSU-BR) School of Veterinary Medicine, (SVM) in a strategic alliance with the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC),and the LSU-BR College of Basic Sciences (BASC). Accomplishments by junior investigators (Jls) recruited during the last funding period (2003-2008) includes the award of 4R01, 2R21, 2K22,1K01 and 1 NIH-R01- subcontract, as well as competitive funding from sources other than NIH. Two new Jls are very close to be funded with ROI grants. Importantly, the institutions were awarded a NIH T32 postdoctoral training grant for veterinarians and a NIH T35 summer training grant for veterinary students. The COBRE will be administered by senior NIH funded investigators. Dr. K. G. Kousoulas (LSU-SVM) and Dr. A. A. Lackner, (TNPRC). The proposed program for years 6-10 of the COBRE encompass four integrated research projects under the direction of new junior investigators working on infectious diseases. The new projects are;1. Host mediators of mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) immunopathology (Deepak Kaushal;TNPRC);2. Borrelial evasion of innate and adaptive immunity (Fangting Liang, SVM);3. Molecular determinants of rickettsial pathogens in tick hosts (Kevin Macaluso, SVM);4) The role of humoral immune responses in control of SIV replication and pathogenesis (Bapi Pahar, TNPRC). Enhancement of the research infrastructure will be achieved by the formation of a Molecular Immunopathology (MIP) Core Laboratory as a consortium of existing LSU-SVM Centralized Laboratories. Individual Jls will be mentored by three NIH-experienced senior mentors who collectively will constitute the internal advisory committee (IAC) of the Center. Future development of the Center will be achieved through the addition of 4-6 new investigators at LSU and TNPRC within the next three years, as well as the hiring of two senior investigators. It is anticipated that research outcomes will be translated to vaccines and other treatment modalities for ameliorating human and animal diseases.
The proposed research is focused on finding new ways to understand and combat infectious diseases including AIDS, Lyme Disease, Tubercullosis and mosquito borne diseases. The work will produce new diagnostics and vacines to ameliorate these diseases.
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