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Infectious Disease Program and Equine Reproduction Laboratory Spark New Construction at Foothills Research Campus
If you haven’t been out to the Foothills Research Campus for a while, take a drive to check out the new construction. Building has begun on the Equine Reproduction Laboratory and new projects are underway at the infectious disease facilities. In addition, construction has begun on the new home for the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID), which has been at its current location since 1967.
"The new and planned construction at the Foothills Research Campus is a reflection of the rapid growth our programs in equine reproduction and infectious diseases are experiencing,” said Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the College. “The Equine Reproduction Laboratory will build upon the excellent equine facilities already in existence at the Foothills campus, and the current and future plans for the infectious disease facilities will create wonderful opportunities for public/private partnerships to advance research into some of the most devastating diseases known to humankind.”
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, 17 million people die each year from infectious diseases, about half of those children. Infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), account for one-third of all deaths globally, more than heart disease, famine and war combined. Emerging infectious diseases, such as sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and West Nile virus, graphically illustrate the need for expanded research in emerging as well as established infectious diseases.
Today, the chief research facility for infectious disease at the Foothills Research Campus is the Bioenvironmental Hazards Research Building (BHRB). A new Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, primarily funded with a grant from the National Institutes of Health (total building cost is $22.1 million), will be located adjacent to the BHRB. In addition, the College has $3 million in hand to build the Discovery Suite, an expansion of the BHRB. A fourth construction project, the Bioenvironmental Research Building Expansion, is awaiting funding approval. The College has requested $4 million from the NIH, a grant which, if approved, will require matching funds.
"Infectious disease remains a very important area for us to concentrate our research efforts,” Dr. Perryman said. “Research will help us more accurately diagnose, treat and prevent through vaccinations some of the more deadly diseases in humans and animals. We have a highly skilled faculty with the ability to do incredible work. They have been constrained by facilities, but with these new construction projects, we will have the ability to do so much more. As the threat of bioterrorism and agriterrorism continue to trouble our nation, we see the demand for productive research in infectious disease as an on-going and increasing need.”