|10.01.08 - Trudeau Institute and U.S. Navy receive order to continue
Pandemic Influenza vaccine development project
Saranac Lake, N.Y., – Dr. David L. Woodland, president and director of the Trudeau Institute, announced today that President Bush has signed into law the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (H.R. 2638), which includes $1.6 million in additional research funding to support a joint program between scientists at the Trudeau Institute and the U.S. Navy to develop a pandemic influenza vaccine. H.R. 2638 includes the Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2009.
United States Congressman, John M. McHugh, helped to secure funding for this important project. President Bush signed the full bill into law on September 30.
Trudeau researchers and their counterparts at the U.S. Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) in San Diego will continue to help lead the scientific charge against a potentially devastating pandemic. An influenza outbreak akin to the pandemic of 1918, when somewhere between 20 and 40 million people around the world perished, remains a serious threat today and could have enormous human and economic impact, both domestically and across the globe.
"Clearly we have a consensus that there is significant concern regarding the possibility of another pandemic occurring," said Dr. Woodland. "The government believes that Trudeau, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, have the personnel and background to develop a vaccine that will provide protection for our military personnel and, ultimately, our civilian population."
An improved vaccine will help allow the U.S. military to conduct their missions without being significantly impacted by a pandemic influenza outbreak. "As with all research that initiates within the military, any vaccine or therapeutic strategies that result from this research would be of benefit to all of us," added Dr. Woodland. "In working directly with the Navy, we are also extremely fortunate to have access to thousands of samples of the virus, which provides us the opportunity to perform our research in a true clinical setting."
U.S. Navy scientists, who collect samples of the virus from military personnel, are excited to be partnering with Trudeau researchers, who are renowned internationally for their expertise in diseases of the lung.
The Trudeau Institute is an independent, not-for-profit biomedical research organization, whose scientific mission is to make breakthrough discoveries leading to improved human health. Trudeau researchers are identifying the basic mechanisms used by the immune system to combat viruses like influenza, mycobacteria, such as tuberculosis, parasites and cancer, so that better vaccines and therapies can be developed for fighting deadly disease. The research is supported by government grants and philanthropic contributions.