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September 7, 2005 Denise Fitzpatrick
(502) 852-6171
denise.fitzpatrick@louisville.edu

U OF L RECEIVES FEDERAL AWARD TO BUILD NEW RESEARCH LAB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville is receiving a federal grant of nearly $22 million to build a research lab geared to developing new vaccines to fight bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases.

The award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, will allow the university to create the Center for Predictive Medicine, a facility that will join a growing number of Level 3 Regional Biosafety Labs being built across the nation. U of L applied in December to create the center.

“We’re pleased that we’ve been chosen to play a part in this important national public health effort,” said U of L President James Ramsey.

A dozen U of L scientists are working to determine which genes and proteins keep infectious diseases out of our bodies and which genes and proteins let them in. For example, Eugenia Wang is studying the flu virus, while Yousef Abu Kwaik is exploring how Legionnaire’s disease invades the body and James Graham is investigating how gene expression might offer clues to fighting tuberculosis.

The center, which will be roughly 45,000 square feet in size and will be built on a 4.2-acre tract at the northeast corner of U of L’s Shelby Campus, will enable researchers to do their work in a state-of-the-art facility that will be designed and built according to rigorous safety standards.

The next step will be a site visit by the NIH to U of L, probably in mid-October. It will be up to the NIH to determine the type of environmental review that needs to be done at the property before construction begins.

U of L officials will discuss the project in two public forums at the Founders Union Building on Shelby Campus, one on Sept. 8 and another on Sept. 12. Both forums will begin at 7 p.m.

For more details, call 502-852-1113 or see www.louisville.edu/community/biosafetylab/

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