The Northeast Biodefense Center (NBC) is a consortium of >350 investigators in 28 academic and research institutions (many of them in close proximity to one another in the greater NYC metro area), and 13 US based governmental and international organizations. Over the past 5 years, NBC investigators have demonstrated their commitment to working together across disciplines and institutional boundaries in research and training programs focused on biodefense and emerging infectious diseases as well as emergency preparedness. Evidence of productivity includes >160 publications, 15 invention disclosures, 13 patent applications and 5 licenses for product development. This renewal will comprise 42 investigators and 32 research projects organized into 6 scientific theme areas: Passive Immunotherapeutics (chair: Arturo Casadevall, Einstein);Vaccines (chair: John Rose, Yale);Diagnostics and Pathogen Discovery (chair: Ian Lipkin, Columbia);Therapeutics (chairs: Charles Rice, Rockefeller and Howard Shuman, Columbia,);Innate Immunity (chairs: David Levy, NYU, and Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, Sinai), and Microbial Pathogenesis (chairs: Jorge E. Galan, Yale, and Jorge Benach, Stony Book). Biotechnology and pharmaceutical collaborators are represented in the Diagnostics and Pathogen Discovery (Agilent, Akonni, Cepheid, Xynostics, 454 Life Sciences), Therapeutics (Prosetta, Snowdon), and Passive Immunotherapeutics (Regeneron) themes. These industrial links provide not only intellectual capital and resources but also a path for moving discoveries from NBC laboratories to a larger arena where they can contribute to human health and welfare. Additional strength derives from relationships with national and international public health agencies that provide unique access to insights and clinical materials (such as diagnostic samples and PBMC) that enable work that could not otherwise be pursuec. Core facilities will include Protein Expression, Animal Models, and Proteomics. We will also invest in Developmental Projects (innovative pilot projects) and in Career Development and Training Programs that include individual and group career development awards. As a Center based in a School of Public Health and a State Department of Health, the NBC has a firm commitment to and practical understanding of Emergency Preparedness.
A major hub for trade, tourism and immigration, and center for diplomacy, entertainment and finance, NYC is particularly vulnerable to emerging infectious diseases (EID) and bioterrorism. The greater NYC metro area comprises extraordinary biomedical resources and expertise. Motivated by the events of 9/11, the regional biomedical research community crystallized its efforts in addressing the challenges of biodefense and EID by establishing the NBC, an inter-institutional program focused on research and training initiatives.
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