In response to national efforts to improve the quality of education in biodefense (BD) and emerging infectious diseases (EID) research, SERCEB requests funding to further develop careers of promising junior investigators working on BD and EID research. This is especially important now as postdoctoral trainees and junior faculty are finding it difficult to move into independent careers in biomedical sciences. The need to train new investigators in research in BD/EID is both undeniable and urgent. Expertise has been limited in most institutions due to constraints in funding, biocontainment facilities and career paths for investigators in select agents and emerging infections. Recent events have brought into sharp contrast the need to develop highly skilled investigators of all career stages in the replication, pathogenesis, immunology, diagnosis, detection, prevention and treatment of potential agents of bioterrorism and emerging infections that might also emerge as new threats. Recent advances in genomics, proteomics, cell and molecular biology, vaccine development and testing, small molecule testing and therapeutics provide important new pathways for rapid advancement in understanding of these critical human pathogens.
Although there has not been a significant bioterror incident since October 2001, the threat remains. Moreover, emerging infectious diseases continue to plague populations, not only in the developing world but also in industrialized settings.
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