for the Biocontainment Core Hawaii's geographic location as a prominent international port and its strategic proximity to Asia makes it a natural sentinel post from which to monitor the emergence and spread of newly recognized infectious diseases and to investigate outbreaks of well-known microbial infections in the Asia-Pacific region. During the initial Phase I COBRE period, a multidisciplinary center was established to investigate emerging infectious diseases that impact Hawaii's multiethnic population. At that time, a state-of-the-art ABSL-3/BSL-3 biocontainment facility, located in the State-financed BioSciences Building, was developed as a Biocontainment Core. As the only facility of its kind for researchers in the entire State, the Biocontainment Core represents a valuable local and regional asset. For the Phase II COBRE period, the infrastructure for the Biocontainment Core was enhanced to support hypothesis-driven research projects that sought to develop rapid diagnostics, improved treatments and affordable vaccines for emerging infectious diseases. Directed by a senior virologist with assistance from a well-trained staff, the Biocontainment Core has provided opportunities for studying pathogenic microbes under BSL-2 and BSL-3 biocontainment; also, the Core has provided training workshops and assisted in the certification and permitting process for users. During COBRE Phases I and II, the Biocontainment Core focused on the triad of service, research and development, and education and training. These core functions will extend into Phase III to support the career development and research independence of faculty within the UH System and beyond. Further, a high priority during COBRE Phase III is to ensure the sustainability and growth of the Biocontainment Core. Thus, the overarching objective is to facilitate the transition of the Biocontainment Core into a sustainable state-of-the-art core facility capable of supporting high-caliber research on new, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The objective will be achieved by (1) enhancing and streamlining core operations; (2) growing and diversifying the user base, capability, capacity and reach; and (3) strengthening the core infrastructure. It is envisioned that the Biocontainment Core will achieve each of the above-stated specific aims by the end of the Phase III COBRE. Moreover, the strong commitments by high-level institutional officials will ensure that core operations will be sustained during and beyond the Phase III COBRE period.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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University of Hawaii
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