National Strategic Research Institute Receives 5.3 Million in Research Funding from USAMRIID

September 14, 2015

The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska, a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), has been awarded a $5.3 million contract from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).  

The award will allow a University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) research team with significant experience to conduct research on current and emerging biodefense threats.  The results will provide medical solutions to protect the warfighter.

Dr. Ken Bayles, Associate Vice Chancellor for Basic Science Research Director at UNMC and Project Initiator for the research contract stated “This is the first step in creating a sustainable partnership between USAMRIID, UNMC and NSRI that includes the hiring of an infectious disease research specialist, along with five additional support personnel.  Combined, these researchers will bring to UNMC a solid foundation of expertise in the use of Next-Generation Sequencing technologies to study highly infectious pathogens such as Ebola.”  Bayles and the UNMC research team will work closely with Mariano Sanchez-Lockhart, a renowned USAMRIID research scientist.  USAMRIID is the lead Department of Defense (DoD) laboratory working with highly dangerous Biological Select Agents & Toxins.  This award is a clear vote that USAMRIID recognizes the expertise and significant resources available at NSRI/UNMC in infectious disease research. “The key role UNMC played in the United States 2014 Ebola epidemic response is only the beginning to what our researchers & clinicians can contribute to this field,” Bayles stated.  

The goal of the research project is for NSRI/UNMC to provide immunomics research support to USAMRIID’s Center for Genome Sciences.  Specifically, the research team will characterize the immunological response to various pathogens of interest.  The results will guide development of therapeutics to fight pathogens in the future.
Under the research contract, the NSRI at the University of Nebraska, its sponsor United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and other partners will provide the Nation with research efforts centered medical passive defense against weapons of mass destruction.

According to Bob Hinson, Lt Gen, USAF (ret), Executive Director, “the NSRI has a secure future and long-term commitment to mission-essential research for our partners. USAMRIID has expanded its capabilities and the NSRI has the capability to deliver the required support.  This new $5.3 million research award will springboard the NSRI in building the body of knowledge USAMRIID needs for medical solutions to protect the warfighter.”  

About NSRI
Founded in 2012, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska is the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) in the country dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and other federal agencies. NSRI provides research and development for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other governmental agencies in multiple mission-critical competency areas—including development of medical countermeasures to WMD; nuclear detection and forensics; consequence management; chemical and biological weapons detection; and space, cyber, and telecom law.