Science Market Update

Foothills Campus Researchers Address Bioterrorism with $13.5M Grant

Posted by Katheryn Rein on Tue, Dec 10, 2013

At home at Colorado State University Fort Collins Foothill Research Campus is the Infectious Disease Research Center, a location devoted to studying some of the most dangerous and infectious diseases known to mankind: tuberculous, the black plague and anthrax, to name a few. This center, composed of various laboratories and specific companies, works to make drug advances in the hopes of combating some of the most deadly bacteria. 

Colorado State University is a major name in the field of disease research, specifically in the study of West Nile Virus, drug-resistant Tuberculosis, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Hantavirus, Plague and Tularemia. To help the school gain prominence in this important research area, the $30 million Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RMRBL) at the Judson M. Harper Research Complex on CSU’s Foothills Campus was opened in 2007 and has since complemented other infectious disease research efforts at the CDC and the USDA. 

Helping aid this research is a $13.5 million grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a branch of the US Department of Defense. Since the landmark Anthrax attacks began in 2001, bioterrorism has become a concerning threat to which scientists are working on building resistance. 

Leading many of these efforts at the Foothill Research Campus is Richard Slayden, Associate Professor and Associate Director at the Center for Environmental Medicine at CSU. Slayden, along with fellow researchers Susan Knudson and Jason Cummings, is focusing specifically on three deadly pathogens: burkholderia pseudomallei, burkholderia mallei and francisella rularensis. Slayden believes that if there is a bioterrorist attack in the near future, it could possibly be associated with one of the aforementioned pathogens. 


csu blog(Colorado State University, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

As part of this $13.5 million grant, researchers at UC Berkeley and Anacor Pharmaceuticals (a Palo Alto based biopharmaceutical company) are partnering with CSU to further their research. This multi-institutional process will include Berkeley researchers developing and studying 3-D models of the interaction between a variety of antibodies and bacterial ribosomes. Slayden and his colleagues will then proceed to test the resulting compounds and send those with promise to Anacor Pharmaceuticals, where clinical trials will begin. Eventually, with luck, they will move on to the US Food and Drug Administration for a final evaluation.

This lengthy process may sound daunting, but Slayden and his colleagues have high hopes for this endeavor and are setting a goal of 3 years to deliver a product to the Department of Defense. This final product is expected to be a sort of "super drug" that can kill a large variety of lethal bacteria, from the black plague to yellow fever.  

Based on recent NIH research funding statistics, CSU Foothills Campus received over $30 million in life science research funding from the National Institute of Health in 2012. The Foothills Research Campus abounds with innovative researchers working to make their mark in the scientific community and further our knowledge. For more research information, please read these highlighted blogs on what researchers at this campus have worked on previously: Distaster Relief & Biotech Bandage Development.

Georgetown12 blog

Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. invites all lab suppliers and biotechnology vendors interested in taking advantage of life science marketing opportunities at universities with a wealth of life science research funding to attend our Foothills Campus Bioresearch Product Faire Front Line Event, located in Fort Collins and situated at Colorado State University, Fort Collins (Foothill Research Campus) on June 16th, 2014.

Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full-service science research marketing and events-planning company that organizes life science marketing events at top research universities nationwide. If you’re interested in life science marketing opportunities at other schools with available life science research funding, we encourage to view our 2014 calendar of life science marketing events. For more funding information on CSU Foothills Campus, or to learn more about the Foothills Campus BioResearch Product Faire™ Front Line Event™, click on the button below.

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