Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute (GHEPI) members have an outstanding track record of collaborative research in the area of emerging pathogens with a number of multi-investigator NIH-funded projects that include the Center for Research on Influenza Virus Pathogenesis, the Dengue Human Immunology Project Consortium, FluOMICS, PRIME (Program for Research on Immune Modeling and Experimentation), and other program project grants. Together with the Department of Microbiology, we also contribute to advance a highly promising universal influenza virus vaccine by conducting preclinical and clinical studies sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Research and Collaborations
Our collaborations within the industry include research-sponsored programs by GSK and Merck, respectively, in the areas of influenza vaccines and cancer immunotherapy through the use of oncolytic viruses. We have built on current institutional strengths and recruited new faculty with the goal of developing a broad program that spans basic discovery, animal models, clinical trials, and investigation. The study of emerging pathogens, and the development of methods for rapid detection as well as effective therapeutic and prophylactic approaches, uniquely demands the merger of basic and clinical science with clinical care. While the scientists participate in basic and translational discovery, the clinical investigator and astute clinicians are sentinel providers that are essential in detecting and describing new entities. ISMMS is positioned to bring these disciplines together through GHEPI.
The Emerging Pathogens Center has a strategic vision composed of three parts:
Matching Investigators and Clinicians
The first part of the Center’s vision is to bring together investigators and clinicians from diverse disciplines of both clinical and basic research. These clinicians and investigators are presently in a number of departments and centers. By creating a framework and infrastructure for interactions and communications on a regular basis, collaborations are fostered. These ongoing interactions position our institution to respond to new outbreaks, as well as new opportunities for funding in basic, translational, and clinical research.
Identification of Needed Resources
The second part of our vision is to identify needed resources to advance the process including new faculty recruits, development of infrastructure, and establishment of interactions with industry, philanthropy, and other academic partners that will complement the existing expertise and enhance our ability to move forward in this area.
Interdisciplinary Training Program
A final component is to develop an interdisciplinary training program that can complement pre-existing department and center programs for graduate students, medical students, and post-doctoral fellows who wish to pursue careers in research in emerging pathogens.