The purpose of the Western Regional Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease Research (WRCE) Developmental Research program is to provide overall guidance required to solicit, evaluate, select, and manage pilot research projects that are critical to the development and sustainability of a productive basic and applied biodefense research program. The program will function as an integral component of the WRCE's mission by expanding the scope of research, increasing the pool of biodefense researchers and the number of institutions involved in the WRCE, opening up new lines of research and developing new technologies needed to contribute to the development of mission-relevant countermeasures. The Developmental Research plan takes advantage of the region's wealth of relevant scientific expertise by identifying and promoting new research ideas, and employing and developing novel technologies. The research projects will be conducted by established biodefense and emerging infectious disease investigators, and by researchers new to the field, who are willing to apply their expertise to conduct a novel aspect of product-oriented research. A systematic and rigorous administrative and scientific management plan, similar to the plan used during the first WRCE grant cycle, will be employed to allow for the selection of the most relevant and scientifically sound research projects, and for effective monitoring and evaluation of progress. The WRCE Director will have overall responsibility for the Developmental Research program and will designate the WRCE Associate Director to manage the plan. The Associate Director will be supported by the WRCE Program Administrator, other key WRCE Administrative Core personnel, and the WRCE Research Project Theme Leaders. In addition, the WRCE Associate Director for Product Development and the WRCE Steering Committee will be called upon as needed when decisions are made regarding continued support for productive projects, the redirection of projects, or the discontinuation of unproductive projects. Also, the selection of new projects will rely upon the scientific expertise of the Steering Committee, the WRCE Director, and the NIAID program officers. This expertise, working in concert, contributes to the establishment and sustainability of productive Developmental Research projects within the WRCE.
The WRCE Developmental Research program takes advantage of emergent technology and new research opportunities to support NIAID's efforts to support multifaceted research to provide scientific information and translational research capacity that will facilitate the next generation of therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines against the NIAID Category A-C Priority Pathogens and Emerging and Re-emerging Disease Agents.
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