NIH News Release
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 6, 2001
Contact:
NIAID Office of Communications
and Public Liaison
(301) 402-1663

HHS Accelerates Bioterrorism Research
New Programs Expedite Ideas from Concerned Scientists

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced seven new initiatives to accelerate bioterrorism research and help strengthen the nation's ability to deal with the public health threat posed by bioterrorism. The research programs at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are designed to take advantage of the recent outpouring of ideas from concerned academic and industrial scientists on ways to understand and combat potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID is the lead institute for research on bioterrorism at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"Lethal bioterrorism has become a stark reality, and our ability to detect and counter this danger depends on having reliable, up-to-date knowledge," Secretary Thompson said. "Under these new initiatives, the submission, review and funding of this flood of scientific proposals will be expedited so that important research in this area can advance as quickly as possible."

"At NIAID, our offices have been deluged with calls from scientists who want to help," NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., said. "At scientific meetings and conferences, I am often approached by researchers with promising ideas and a desire to contribute to the fight against bioterrorism. These new programs will allow us to channel that energy and new thinking toward enhancing our already significant bioterrorism research program."

The following initiatives will fund research investigating high-priority, "Category A" biological diseases as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox, tularemia and viral hemorrhagic fevers. Many of these programs will encourage government partnerships with business and academia. Many of them expand or build upon existing NIAID bioterrorism or infectious disease research programs. Proposals and applications from scientists may be submitted immediately. For more detailed information, visit NIAID's new Web page, New Bioterrorism-Related Research Funding Opportunities, at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/bioterrorism/.

In addition to these new efforts, NIAID supports an extensive portfolio of existing bioterrorism-related research. In fiscal year 2001, NIH spent about $47 million on bioterrorism research, including about $36 million at NIAID. For fiscal year 2002, prior to the Sept. 11 attacks, the President's budget proposed $93 million for NIH bioterrorism research, including $81.6 million for NIAID. Current research projects include:

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immune-mediated illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. More information about NIAID's bioterrorism research efforts is available at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/publications/bioterrorism.htm.

Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov. All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.