Sep 302003
Authors: Jesse McLain

Whether it is a national disease outbreak or a terrorist attack,

a $22.1 million grant for a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory will

advance CSU research into more national importance than ever.

The new research facility was funded by a grant awarded to CSU

from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a

division of the National Institute of Health.

The grant will allow for further research on all steps of

progression in diseases from tuberculosis to West Nile virus.

“Basic research on the biological aspects could lead to new

diagnostic tests and new drugs,” said Anthony Frank, vice president

of Research and Information Technology.

The NIAID announced funding for nine facilities across the

nation on Tuesday.

“These awards to build high-level biosafety facilities are a

major step toward being able to provide Americans with effective

therapies, vaccines and diagnostics for diseases caused by agents

of bioterror as well as for naturally occurring emerging infections

such as SARS and West Nile virus,” said Tommy Thompson, health and

human services secretary, on an NIAID news release.

The grant is the culmination of a rigorously competitive process

that will now fund the $22.1 million lab.

“It is a really competitive process,” Frank said. “We succeeded

because of two factors; we’re adding on to an existing facility and

we already have a world-class faculty.”

According to a news release, the new facility will work in

conjunction with the existing Rocky Mountain Institute for

Biosecurity Research, a research facility at CSU that combines

its efforts with those of eight other land grant universities

across the country.

Other competitive research facilities may also be more likely to

collaborate with ongoing CSU research because of this new center,

said RMIBR Director Hank Gardner in a news release.

“The new lab will help Colorado State recruit top scientists and

increase collaborative work with researchers throughout the

region,” Gardner said.

Tom Milligan, spokesman for the university, said every student

on CSU campus will benefit from this grant and the new facility,

since it improves CSU’s reputation as a whole.

“This will really increase the value of a degree from CSU,”

Milligan said. “It firmly cements CSU as one of the top

universities in infectious disease research.”




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