Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rutgers begins new institution for research on infectious diseases

NEWARK — Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is combining several research organizations into one new institute with the mission of detecting, treating and preventing infectious diseases, and focusing on the link between infectious and inflammatory diseases.

The Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases will enfold the Public Health Research Institute, the Center for Immunity and Inflammation and the Center for Emerging Pathogens, and will act as a springboard for research, according to a press release from the university.

Researchers at this new institute, according to the release, will look at the development of diseases with rapid detection of infectious agents and control of harmful inflammation as a major focus.

"We are establishing this institute, which brings together more than 250 scientists — many of them prominent in this field — to pursue a greater understanding of how the immune system and inflammatory responses contribute to a wide range of diseases," said Christopher Molloy, interim chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. "We anticipate that their successes will produce dramatic progress against some of these diseases and keep the institute growing at a significant pace."

The more specific goals of the new institute include:

•  Developing new treatments, diagnostics and preventive measures for infectious and inflammatory diseases

•  Moving new therapies and treatments from bench to bedside more quickly

•   Helping to break the cycle of poverty and disease in impoverished communities locally and worldwide

•   Offering continuing education to all health professionals as well as science writers and health educators

•   Sharing research and information with the public through publications, blogs, social media and video

"Dysfunction of the immune system is increasingly recognized as contributing to a broad spectrum of infectious and noninfectious diseases," said William Gause, senior associate dean for research at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. "The specific focus of our new institute provides a unique opportunity to build an innovative and significant program of biomedical research excellence for Newark and the State of New Jersey."

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