The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced on Thursday it has awarded 11 grants with a total first-year value of approximately 17 million U.S. dollars to establish the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID).
The global network will involve multidisciplinary investigations into how and where viruses and other pathogens emerge from wildlife and spillover to cause disease in people, said a release of the agency.
NIAID intends to provide approximately 82 million U.S. dollars over five years to support the network.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a potent reminder of the devastation that can be wrought when a new virus infects humans for the first time,” said NIAID Director Anthony Fauci.
“The CREID network will enable early warnings of emerging diseases wherever they occur, which will be critical to rapid responses. The knowledge gained through this research will increase our preparedness for future outbreaks,” he said.
Each Center in the network will involve collaborations with peer institutions in the United States and 28 other countries.
Research projects will include surveillance studies to identify previously unknown causes of febrile illnesses in humans; find the animal sources of viral or other disease-causing pathogens; and determine what genetic or other changes make these pathogens capable of infecting humans, said the release.