UGA/Emory partnership gets funding for flu research


UGA has partnered with Emory University on a $3.6 million contract to do work that will play a key role in the nation’s influenza research and surveillance programs. The partnership could receive as much as $26.7 million over seven years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The Emory-UGA Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) was originally launched and funded in 2007, when the NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health, created a network of six national centers. The project leader at UGA is Ralph Tripp, professor and chair of animal health vaccine development at the College of Veterinary Medicine and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. Co-leader is Mark Tompkins, an associate professor of infectious diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The center is led by investigators at Emory University.

The Emory-UGA CEIRS will focus on surveillance of swine influenza viruses and investigations of swine immune responses to virus infection. Basic research projects will include efforts to better understand the human immune response to influenza vaccination, including responses of pregnant women. Studies of long-lasting flu antibodies could aid in the development of vaccines that would provide years-long immunity to multiple strains of flu.

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