LSU Vet School receives $9.9 million for infectious disease research

August 03, 2004

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine has received a $9.9 million grant to fund the creation of the Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research.

"What makes this grant so important is that it brings national recognition to LSU and allows us to expand our research program in infectious disease as it relates to human health and comparative medicine," said Thomas Klei, associate dean for research and advanced studies at the School of Veterinary Medicine. "This is the largest grant the school has ever received, and it's the only grant like this currently at LSU."

The grant is from the National Center for Research Resources, a division of the National Institutes of Health, and it is part of the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence, or COBRE, program. COBRE aims to "build research infrastructure to enhance an institution's research capacity and competitiveness for NIH grants." The grant will last for five years and it can be competitively renewed for five or more years.

"This center constitutes a strategic alliance between the School of Veterinary Medicine, the LSU College of Basic Sciences, and the Tulane National Primate Research Center," said Konstantin G. Kousoulas, who will be the administrator of the COBRE program at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

The COBRE grant provides funding and research capabilities that will give assistant and associate professors the opportunity to establish research programs that will effectively compete for independent funding by NIH. Once a faculty member receives his or her own NIH funding for a particular research program, he or she will be rotated out of COBRE and replaced by other eligible faculty.

At present, a total of five assistant professors have research projects in the grant, representing the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine; the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Basic Sciences; and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, or TNPRC. A number of other faculty and staff will participate in research cores in the school and the TNPRC.

The five initial research projects are: "New measles vaccine strategy using VSV vectors," Cristian Apetrei, Ph.D., Tulane National Primate Research Center; "Early RSV exposure leads to adult airways disease," Stephania A. Cormier, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences, LSU College of Basic Sciences; "Host response in HIV-1 and microsporidia co-infection," Hollie Hale-Donze, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences, LSU College of Basic Sciences; "Monocyte infection in SIV neuropathogenesis," Marlene Orandle, DVM, Ph.D., Department of Pathobiological Sciences, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine; and "Contribution of TNF and MCP-1 to retrovirus-induced neurological disease," Karin E. Peterson, Ph.D., Department of Pathobiological Sciences, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

"This new center will give faculty the tools they need to significantly increase their research productivity toward addressing the intricacies of some of the world's most deadly diseases," said Kevin Smith, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies. "This is one of the best mechanisms that will facilitate access to new research funding and ensure the success of LSU's National Flagship Agenda."

The COBRE program will be administered by the Division of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, or BIOMMED, in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Kousoulas, director of BIOMMED and a professor of veterinary virology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, serves as the principal investigator of the center. He will work closely with Dr. Andrew Lackner, director of the Tulane National Primate Research Center in administering the Center.

Participants in the COBRE program will have access to specialized facilities at both TNPRC and BIOMMED, Kousoulas explained.

An external advisory committee will visit LSU and the TNPRC twice a year to review all aspects of the COBRE program.

"The ultimate goal is to have a center for comparative medicine, and this grant is the first step toward that goal," said Kousoulas.

Louisiana State University

Related Infectious Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Archaeology uncovers infectious disease spread - 4000 years ago
New bioarchaeology research from a University of Otago PhD candidate has shown how infectious diseases may have spread 4000 years ago, while highlighting the dangers of letting such diseases run rife.

Lack of continuous infectious disease pandemic research endangers responses
The coronavirus was also studied considerably less than blood borne viruses like Hepatitis B or C and H.I.V. and its research community has less prolific researchers than the other investigated diseases.

For patients with sepsis, an infectious disease expert may reduce the risk of death
When people with severe sepsis, an extreme overreaction by the body to a serious infection, come to the emergency room (ER), they require timely, expert care to prevent organ failure and even death.

Infectious disease in marine life linked to decades of ocean warming
New research shows that long-term changes in diseases in ocean species coincides with decades of widespread environmental change.

What makes some people more receptive to the idea of being vaccinated against infectious disease?
Fear, trust, and the likelihood of exposure are three leading factors that influence whether people are willing to be vaccinated against a virulent disease, according to a new study in the journal Heliyon, published by Elsevier.

Can we feed 11 billion people while preventing the spread of infectious disease?
A new article published in Nature Sustainability describes how the increase in population and the need to feed everyone will give rise to human infectious disease, a situation the authors of the paper consider 'two of the most formidable ecological and public health challenges of the 21st century.'

Climate change responsible for severe infectious disease in UK frogs
Climate change has already increased the spread and severity of a fatal disease caused by Ranavirus that infects common frogs (Rana temporaria) in the UK, according to research led by ZSL's Institute of Zoology, UCL and Queen Mary University of London published today in Global Change Biology.

New research framework may help better understand, predict infectious disease risks
University of South Florida-led research identifies individual hosts more or less likely to escalate outbreaks.

Researchers study bacterial immunity to understand infectious disease
Patients with cystic fibrosis are often infected by pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that infects the lungs and prevents breathing, often causing death.

National Academies target opioid abuse and infectious disease consequences
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today released proceedings of a March 12 workshop exploring the rise in infectious diseases accompanying opioid abuse, and possible strategies for reducing both epidemics.

Read More: Infectious Disease News and Infectious Disease Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to