“Through CIDER’s basic research, we want to better understand the transmission of these viruses, the resulting disease severity, and the host response to infection and disease,” Tompkins said in a statement. “This work will enable development of better vaccines and better understanding for public health responses — particularly for flu but potentially for other pathogens.”
CIDER will research the evolution of flu virus as it replicates and moves among hosts.
The center is the second major federal project in recent years involving influenza research that will be led by UGA. Federal officials in September 2019 approved a research effort led by UGA, with partners including Emory University and Georgia Tech, to develop a new, more advanced flu vaccine to protect against multiple strains of the virus in a single dose.
UGA is home to a state-of-the-art biocontainment facility necessary to study live virus and the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, a world leader in studying the complex sugars used by many viruses—including both flu and SARS-CoV-2—to bind to their hosts.