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Biodefense pioneers to start new Pittsburgh center

Team leaving Hopkins to create expanded institute for 'comprehensive' biopreparedness research

Eugene Russo(erusso@the-scientist.com)

Three prominent biodefense policy researchers have decided to greatly expand their studies of "biopreparedness" while helping to found a new research center. Having accepted a lucrative offer from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), bioterrorism experts D.A. Henderson, Thomas Inglesby, and Tara O'Toole, along with about 20 staff members, will move from the John Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense to the new UPMC Center for Biosecurity, as of as of November 1. The deal was announced last week (September 17).

The researchers claim that their move is motivated by a desire to remedy a deficiency in the field: a dearth of "comprehensive" biodefense centers, closely integrated with academic health systems in order to address bioterrorism preparedness from public policy, research, and public health points of view. The group hopes to take advantage of one of the nation's largest, most integrated health systems in order to more carefully study...

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