The Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) is implementing a new program focused on containing outbreaks of African Swine Flu in Vietnam. ProgRESSVet-Vietnam will provide online educational opportunities that will increase veterinary service capacity for those fighting African Swine Flu. ProgRESSVet has previously supported the veterinary workforce in Latin America and East Africa. CAHFS is a Consortium member center. Read more about their efforts in Vietnam here.
The US Department of Defense has announced an $87.5 million award to create the Bioindustrial Manufacturing and Design Ecosystem (BioMADE). BioMADE, a Department of Defense Manufacturing Innovation Institute, will increase nonmedical bioindustrial manufacturing capacity using microorganisms like bacteria, yeast and algae. BioMADE will share space in the new Microbial Cell Production Facility with the University’s Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC), which is part of the BioTechnology Institute (BTI). As a member of the BioMADE Consortium, BTI’s long history of support for biotech innovation and partnership with industry was instrumental in securing the award. BTI is a Consortium member center. Read more here.
President-elect Joe Biden has named a thirteen-member advisory board to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. The Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board will include Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Osterholm founded CIDRAP in 2001 and is an international authority on emerging infectious diseases. CIDRAP has been a longtime member center of the Consortium on Law and Values. Read the Biden-Harris transition announcement of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board here.
The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Planning Grant Program helps support the creation of interdisciplinary faculty research teams or research partnerships between the community and the University. Funding is meant to support the preparation and submission of grant proposals for the 2021 HFHL funding cycle or equivalent University, government or private sources. Proposals must be relevant to at least one of three categories: food protection (safety); prevention of obesity and diet-related disease; or food security. Proposals are due Wednesday, November 18th and awards will be announced Friday, December 18. The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute is a Consortium member. Download the planning RFP here.
A new study finds that the US public is ready to accept human-animal chimera research. Although the National Institutes of Health placed a moratorium on funding this research in 2015, Japan lifted its ban last year. This new article reports on a survey of US public attitudes on chimera research, led by Drs. Andrew Crane, Francis Shen, and senior author Walter Low at the University of Minnesota. Prof. Shen is Professor of Law and an Affiliate Faculty member in the Consortium. Prof. Low is Associate Head for Research in the Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Crane is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Dr. Low’s lab. According to the study, 59% of respondents would accept a process for creating human tissue in a pig’s body, then transplanting that tissue to a human. Supporters include respondents who self-describe as religious or conservative. The study was published in the October 2020 issue of Stem Cell Reports.
The University of Minnesota is conducting clinical trials for an innovative treatment that utilizes CRISPR technology to combat metastatic gastrointestinal epithelial cancer. The treatment is based on research conducted by Branden Moriarity, PhD, Beau Webber, PhD, and R. Scott McIvor, PhD, of the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. Researchers will use a small piece of a patient’s tumor to create gene-edited white blood cells that may be effective in combating the patient’s cancer. The Masonic Cancer Center is a Consortium member center. Read more on the Masonic Cancer Center website.