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Rocky Mountain research lab nets $36.4 million

Article

Fort Collins, Colo. -- The Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence was awarded $36.4 million to continue researching vaccines, tests and treatments for some of the world's most plaguing infectious diseases.

Fort Collins, Colo.

-- The Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence was awarded $36.4 million to continue researching vaccines, tests and treatments for some of the world's most plaguing infectious diseases.

Since 2005, researchers here have been studying diseases such as the plague, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Rift Valley fever, equine encephalitis virus, hantaviruses, drug resistant tuberculosis and tularemia, and other zoonotic diseases.

The RCE's research focus is partnered with an emphasis on product development, working to reduce the typical 10 to 20 years it takes for a scientific breakthrough to become a developed product available to the public. The RCE also creates an emergency response network that ensures that its experts are available to local, state and federal governments in the event of an infectious disease or bioterrorism crisis.

The Rocky Mountain RCE was established when a group of universities, led by Colorado State University, received an initial $40 million over four years to begin a collaboration to synergize their collective expertise, increasing their effectiveness at researching infectious diseases. The RCE is a collaboration of research universities and federal laboratories in the Rocky Mountain region comprised of facilities in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and North and South Dakota.

Rocky Mountain RCE scientists work at their respective universities, companies and state and federal agencies. Much of the infectious disease research at Colorado State occurs within the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Integrated into the university's Regional Biocontainment Laboratory on the Foothills Campus, the RCE is overseen by John Belisle, Herbert Schweizer and Julia Inamine, professors in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The RCE is comprised of scientists, public health practitioners and staff from Colorado State University, Centers for Disease Control - Division of Vector Borne Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado - Denver, Montana State University, University of Montana, University of Northern Colorado, University of Utah, Utah State University, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Rocky Mountain Laboratory and the University of Wyoming. Companies participating in the RCE include BIOO in Austin.

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