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Centers Emerging for Emerging Diseases

The US National Institutes of Health is establishing new centers to study emerging infectious diseases, the agency has announced

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded 11 grants, totaling $17 million for the first year, to establish the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID), a global network of labs studying how viruses and other pathogens spillover into people. NIAID plans to spend $82 million over five years to support the network.

Each center of the network — there are 10 centers and one coordinating center — is to focus on a particular region of the world and the emerging diseases of concern there. The labs are to conduct studies aimed at uncovering pathogens behind as-yet unknown diseases in people, search for the animal sources of disease, and examine genetic or other changes that enable pathogens to infect people.

In a statement, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci says that the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the potential impact of emerging diseases. "The CREID network will enable early warnings of emerging diseases wherever they occur, which will be critical to rapid responses," he adds. "The knowledge gained through this research will increase our preparedness for future outbreaks."