The QNRF supports six research teams in the fight against infectious diseases

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DOHA: CRDF Global, an independent non-profit organization, announced yesterday that six public health research teams have received seed funding to fight infectious diseases, under a partnership funded by the National Institute Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of the Qatar Foundation Research and Development.
The 2014 United States-Qatar-MENA Infectious Diseases Research Initiative aims to establish new biomedical collaborations between researchers and institutions in the United States, Qatar, and the Middle East and North Africa ( mena).
The grant is CRDF Global’s fourth with NIAID and first with QNRF to support research on emerging and endemic infectious diseases in the Mena region.
The finalists for the award are Sudan-Qatar Survey on MERS-CoV — Supreme Council of Health (Qatar) and Gezira University (Sudan): Seroepidemiological Investigation of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection (MERS- CoV) in humans and camels from Butana, Sudan (2014-2015); Jordan-US genotyping — Jordan University Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (US): rhinovirus genotyping in Amman; Jordan-US discovery of MERS-CoV — University of Jordan and Purdue University (USA): discovery of MERS coronavirus 3CL protease inhibitors by combined structure- and ligand-based virtual screening, followed by in vitro validation and structural studies; Saudi Arabia-US Molecular Profiling for MERS Patients – King Saud University and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (USA): Pilot study to perform molecular profiling of neutralizing antibody repertoire in convalescent plasma of patients infected with MERS-corona virus; Detection of HIV infection between Iran and the United States — Institut Pasteur of Iran and University of Maryland (United States): p31-based immunoassays for the detection of recent HIV infection; and Morocco-US Hepatitis E Study — Institut Pasteur du Maroc and Emory University, School of Medicine (USA): Hepatitis E virus in immunocompromised patients in Morocco.
Each award will be up to $40,000 for one year.
Collaborative research teams composed of researchers from the United States, Qatar and the Mena region were eligible to apply. Each team had to include at least one researcher from an institution represented at the meeting on priority endemic and emerging viral infectious diseases in the Mena region in Doha last May.
The meeting and follow-up grant initiative focused on viral infectious diseases.
“The initiative brings together public health scientists to build collaborations to expand global knowledge to address endemic and emerging viral diseases affecting Mena and the world,” said Siri Oswald, Director of Research Partnerships, CRDF Global.
“Because diseases like MERS, HIV, hepatitis and others know no borders, global solutions from international scientific collaborators like those represented in these award winners are imperative.”
Previous grant finalists have studied diseases such as cholera, avian influenza virus (H5N1) and leishmaniasis. In the first three cycles, the program awarded 18 teams more than $460,000 for biomedical research.
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