The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be granting $23 million a year for seven years to establish six Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance. The Centers of Excellence are located at the following institutions: St. Jude Children’s Hospital, UCLA, the University of Minnesota, Emory University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the University of Rochester. These awards are an outgrowth of a continuing program headed by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which was established after the 1997 outbreak of a virulent strain of avian flu in Hong Kong. One program will study the effectiveness of antiviral drug regimens and identify the viral markers that may indicate how certain viruses become deadly. Others will analyze human immune reactions to flu vaccines and infection, and examine the genes of the influenza virus associated with the development of the disease, its adaptability and how it is transmitted between hosts.

Source: National Institutes of Health

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