? Infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide and the third leading cause of death in the United States. In addition, purposeful release of highly infectious agents into the environment has become a significant source for concern in regard to homeland security. Many of the highly infectious diseases important to the health of man, livestock, and wildlife, are zoonotic. The goal of this COBRE application is to develop a Center of Research at Montana State University that will make significant scientific contributions to the knowledge of the pathogenesis of zoonotic diseases. Senior infectious disease researchers from Montana State University, University of Montana, and the NIH Rocky Mountain Labs will form the nucleus of the proposed Center. To achieve the goal of this proposal, two specific aims are described.
The first aim i s to increase the number of infectious disease investigators at MSU and UM in order to achieve the critical mass of researchers necessary to sustain a productive and competitive research center.
This aim will be accomplished through two different, but complementary mechanisms. The first will be by the development of current junior faculty through a mentoring program and funding of their research projects. The second pathway will be through the support and mentoring of 4 new tenure track faculty hires in the area of zoonotic disease research.
The second aim i s to expand the infrastructure of the infectious disease research programs in Montana to make it possible for the current investigators and future new investigators to conduct research on highly infectious diseases of man, livestock, and wildlife.
This aim will be accomplished by, firstly, expanding the limited BL3 facility at MSU through renovation. The renovated BL3 facility will have greatly expanded wet lab and small animal containment capability as well as the new capability of large animal containment. Secondly, through the purchase of equipment and funding of support personnel, support and mentoring services in the areas of flow cytometry, genomics, proteomics and BL3 animal containment will be made available to investigators associated with the proposed Center. Accomplishment of this aim will provide the specialized and unique facilities needed to carry out studies of BL3 diseases of man, livestock, and wildlife as well as to provide the technologies needed for research in development of immunotherapies. Because of the expertise of the Mentors, the outstanding MSU and UM Institutional support ($1,575,000), and the significance and timeliness of zoonotic disease research, we believe that COBRE support of this proposal will result in a program that will make significant scientific contributions and will, therefore, result in a sustainable and fundable Center. ? ?
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