LSU receives $11 million grant renewal to study infectious disease

LSU receives $11 million grant renewal to study infectious disease

Aug 08, 2009
By staff
Baton Rouge, La. -- The Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine was granted $11.1 million from the National Center for Research Resources to continue its infectious-disease research.

The grant renewal follows a nearly $10 million award the school received five years ago. The original grant established the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) and created a Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research (CEIDR), which constitutes a strategic alliance between the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM), the LSU College of Basic Sciences (BASC), and the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC).

Konstantin G. Kousoulas, PhD, professor of veterinary virology and director of the Division of Biotechnology & Molecular Medicine, is the administrator of the COBRE program at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

The COBRE grant provides funding and research capabilities that give assistant and associate professors the opportunity to establish research programs that will compete for independent funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Once a faculty member receives his or her own NIH funding for a particular research program, he or she will be rotated out of COBRE and replaced by other eligible faculty.

“What makes this grant so important is that it continues the momentum we began with the funding of the first COBRE that brought in $9.6 million and will allow us to continue the expansion of our research program in infectious disease as it relates to human health and comparative medicine,” says Thomas Klei, PhD, associate dean for research and advanced studies at the School of Veterinary Medicine. “It is important to know that this program was jump-started by funding from the Governor’s Biotechnology Initiative begun many years ago by Gov. Mike Foster, which continues to have an important impact. It is the only grant like this currently at LSU. The goal is to create an independent Center for Infectious Diseases relying on the strengths of the participating institutions in the greater south Louisiana region.”