September 30, 2015

The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska, a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), has been awarded a contract from the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense that will fund the development of a crucial training module for laboratories worldwide.

A University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) research team from the College of Public Health will be developing a training module that will ensure the Department of Defense (DoD) maintains a top notch trained force that could be immediately deployed to infectious disease outbreak zones with limited notice.  The training module project will include instruction in the use of advanced detection and biosurveillance technologies that can be rapidly deployed in the event of a disease outbreak. 

Dr. Michael R. Wiley, who has been hired by UNMC to lead the project, will serve as the principal investigator.  Wiley has significant experience, having worked in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak and more recently at the Liberia Institute for Biomedical Research to help sequence the Ebola virus. 

Dr. Ken Bayles, Associate Vice Chancellor for Basic Science Research at UNMC stated that “the recent outbreak situation in Western Africa has demonstrated that rapid deployment of genomic surveillance capabilities in outbreak zones is crucial for outbreak management.  Our researchers at UNMC provide a solid foundation of expertise to study highly infectious pathogens such as Ebola.  The key role UNMC played in the recent Ebola epidemic response is only the beginning to what our researchers and clinicians can contribute to this field.”

The goal of the research project is for NSRI/UNMC to develop training programs which will improve the effectiveness of laboratories, worldwide, in responding to emerging infectious diseases and biological threats.

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 across 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. Learn more at