____________________________________________________________________________________ Project Summary Summary: The purpose of the proposed alterations and renovations is to provide a dedicated space for our project leaders to perform experiments (using infectious agents such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Borrelia burgdorferi, helminth parasites and others) on small animals. This renovation will not only be essential for the success of the investigators, but will also separate these agents to avoid cross contamination and possible genetic recombination between these deadly organisms, thereby avoiding a potentially hazardous condition. In 2011, the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UND SMHS) completed a Space Utilization Study to assess the current state of research and educational space at UND. Based on these findings the Governor and the legislature has provided 124 million dollar that involves building a 320,000 sq. ft. of new research facility that will provide the members of the infectious group with new state of the art research facilities. However, one major issue that still remains a top priority is to remodel the animal care facility. Since last year, the School of Medicine has hired 8 new investigators that use the animal care facility. Several of these investigators use infectious agents for their research. Thus, the existing infectious disease suites in the animal care facility are becoming increasingly crowded and most of them use different infectious agents that can be potentially hazardous. Therefore we propose an extensive remodeling of existing space in the animal care facility building with the primary goals of separating potentially hazardous infectious agents.
Our specific aims are as follows:
AIM 1 : To convert existing laboratory animal space into closed, but flexible space that has independent air handling in order to minimize cross contamination between various COBRE members.
AIM 2 : To build a permanent home for the infectious agent research center which is adjacent to the wet lab space, allowing for increased efficiency and productivity.

Public Health Relevance

Infectious diseases are the third leading cause of death, accounting for 25% of all visits to physicians and hospitals, with costs over $120 billion annually. Additionally, many drugs that were previously touted as saviours from infectious diseases are no longer effective, and the incidence of infectious diseases has been rising. The research proposed in this grant can lead to new breakthroughs in the field, explicitly in understanding and controlling infectious diseases that will have far-reaching effects. However state of the art facilities including a dedicated animal facility that can be used for various pathogens is needed. This renovation is expected to serve as a model for how infectious agents will be handled as we grow our cluster and develop an internationally renowned center for infectious disease throughout the UND SMHS. Additionally, we expect these renovations to contribute greatly to the success of this COBRE.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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University of North Dakota
Grand Forks
United States
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