Georgia State plans new downtown infectious disease research center

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Georgia State plans new downtown infectious disease research center

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JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Georgia State University wants to expand its research on infectious diseases by opening a new 55,000 square-foot research facility in downtown Atlanta.

Research in the new facility would focus on diseases like influenza, Zika, Ebola and tuberculosis and examine how they replicate, are transmitted and infect hosts, university Vice President for Research and Economic Development James Weyhenmeyer said. The research could help inform work on drug development.

“It’s very much part of that front end of research, how those types of pathogens create everything from epidemics to pandemics,” he said.

The facility requires approval by both the Board of Regents and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new facility would allow the school to expand infectious disease research already under way, Weyhenmeyer said.

Georgia State researchers already do similar work in more limited facilities. The new facility would house about 10 research faculty as well as specialized biosafety labs in Georgia State’s downtown science park.

There are currently 13 similar facilities planned or operating across the country, Weyhenmeyer said. The Georgia state facility would be the only such facility in the southeast outside of the CDC.

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