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Buffalo Research Facility Wins Military Contract

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – A research arm of the Center for BioInformatics will be developing radical new drug therapies to combat deadly viruses. WBFO's Joyce Kryszak has more on what the eight and half million dollar defense contract means to science and the region.

The Calspan, UB, Research Center, known simply as CUBRC, won the highly competitive contract to speed up discovery and production of broad spectrum therapies.

Once developed, the drugs will be on the front lines of medicine protecting the military - and others.

UB Microbiologist Iain Hay is one of the scientists who will be working on the project. He said the research is a real paradigm shift from traditional drugs that target individual viruses.

Primary work will be to develop the drugs for biodefense to protect the military. But CUBRC's chief scientist Christopher Davis said the research really has no boundaries.

That's one reason why companies and universities around the world were fiercely competing for the contract. Officials at the BioInformatics Center said they will now be positioned to capitalize on the resulting industry that will be needed to manufacture the new therapies.

Bruce Holm is executive director for the center. He said the latest contract builds on years of teamwork.

Over the past four years, $25 million of federal funding has been secured to help build the center's roster of scientists and its reputation worldwide.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.