In 2002, the Blue Ribbon Panel established the research priorities for biodefense, including the prioritization of pathogens and the development of broad spectrum therapeutics to combat infections. This included two central themes: 1) the development of research capacity for organisms requiring high containment laboratories and 2) the centralization of research focus in the ten federally designated regions. In Region VII Washington University directs the Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease Research (MRCE). Laboratory expansion in region VII occurred at the University of Missouri and the NIAID Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL). In this proposal we describe the alignment of research goals and activities between the MRCE and RBL through the establishment of an Innate Immunity Core at the University of Missouri. Research Projects in the MRCE have a common theme to understand mechanisms of immune responses to priority pathogens, and participating researchers from five institutions collaborate to further this frontier. The MU RBL provides state of the art containment design and engineering as well as centralized resources and education for infectious disease research. Through the Innate Immunity Core (IIC) we will create experimental opportunities requiring access to live cell sorting and other immunological techniques on infected samples. Moreover, the IIC and the RBL are strucutred to permit flexibility and adaptation to the changing frontier of infectious disease research. Thus, the IIC provides a unique capability in region VII that creates opportunities for novel scientific achievements that further the research mission of the MRCE.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-DDS-M)
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Washington University
Saint Louis
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