Albany Medical College Gets Grant To Fight Bio-terror

Aug 21, 2012

Albany Medical College has received a five-year, $10.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. WAMC's Dave Lucas has details.

It is the largest single research grant ever awarded to the College; the money will fund ongoing bio-defense research targeting the bacterium that causes tularemia, a potentially deadly disease that could become a dangerous bioterror weapon and for which there is no vaccine. Researchers say that a very small number of bacteria, 10 to 15 organisms, can be fatal, and can be disseminated fairly easily as an aerosol. During the Cold War stockpiles of the bacterium were kept by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union.  

Tularemia research has been conducted at Albany Med since 2002, supported largely by NIH grants totaling approximately $17.6 million. In addition to focusing on finding a vaccine, researchers have been engaged in projects searching for treatments.

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