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RTI International to Serve as Coordinating Center for Newly Established NIAID-Funded Emerging Infectious Diseases Network

The center will streamline research response to emerging infectious diseases, including COVID-19

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, in partnership with the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, the coordinating center role for the newly established Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID) network. The CREID Coordinating Center will serve as the network’s operational hub to streamline and accelerate research response to emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

The CREID Network — comprised of 10 research centers and a coordinating center — is a coordinated network with centers in regions around the globe where emerging and re-emerging infectious disease outbreaks are likely to occur. Multidisciplinary teams of investigators will conduct pathogen/host surveillance, study pathogen transmission, pathogenesis, and immunologic responses in the host, and will develop reagents and diagnostic assays for improved detection of important emerging pathogens and their vectors.

The RTI-Duke CREID Coordinating Center will support network-wide activities such as data management, outbreak research response, ensuring quality biospecimens, assays, and reagents, and a pilot research program for early career investigators.  Furthermore, the Coordinating Center can be leveraged and scaled to facilitate rapid research response activities during outbreaks.

“Our ability to support rapid and efficient research response to an emerging infectious disease outbreak is paramount to shortening the duration and reducing morbidity and mortality,” said Donald Brambilla, PhD, Principal Investigator for the Coordinating Center and Senior Research Statistician at RTI International. “By successfully accomplishing our specific aims, the RTI-Duke team will shift the outbreak research response paradigm in support of activities during outbreaks.”

Screenshot of CREID homepage

CREID homepage (courtesy NIAID)

The CREID Network includes sites in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and will conduct research on viruses including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Ebola, Zika, West Nile and dengue, among others.

“During the past six months, we’ve seen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe,” said Dr. Tony Moody, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University and co-Principal Investigator for the CREID CC. “By creating and supporting an infrastructure that allows rapid response to infectious disease outbreaks by researchers and by leveraging what we have learned and are learning from research organizations across the globe, we aim to shorten future outbreaks.”

For more information, visit: https://creid-network.org/.

Grant award number U01AI151378