Vying for biodefense dollars

US universities competing for plum designations as bioterror research centers.

Peg Brickley(pegbrickley@hotmail.com)
Jan 14, 2003

University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), University of California (UC), Davis and University of Texas Medical Branch (UT) at Galveston are the three known contenders for $275 million in federal grants to build one or two new top-security biodefense laboratories.

The Midwest and East Coast powerhouses — and the tough little East Texas comer quick to point out that it is already building a Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) lab — are vying for the lead slot in the nation's new biodefense infrastructure. The institutions that win grants to build new laboratories capable of keeping the most lethal pathogens safely contained will be positioned to take in millions in new research dollars going to biodefense.

Other BSL-4 contenders may yet emerge, including, perhaps one from New York State, where Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is believed to be spearheading an effort that will parlay its long connection to state biomedical research...

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