With a new $10.3 million contract from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a team led by the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska will research how to better treat and prevent respiratory issues stemming from exposure to chemical and biological agents.
The four-year research project will characterize bacterial, viral and chemical aerosols, evaluate threats and support the development of medical countermeasures.
Rick Bevins, Chancellor’s Professor of psychology and interim associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, will help investigate how both protective and harmful agents affect cognition and behavioral functioning.
“The efforts from this program will enable the Department of Defense to develop countermeasures to existing and emerging threats and develop an understanding of threat space to better protect our warfighters,” said Joshua Santarpia, an NSRI research director and associate professor of pathology and microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Central to those efforts will be the recently formed Nebraska Drug Development Pipeline. Built with the assistance of Nebraska’s David Berkowitz, Willa Cather Professor of chemistry, the pipeline integrates research expertise across the NU system to accelerate the development of pharmaceutical drugs that counteract threats faced by military personnel.
The project’s interdisciplinary teams will be coordinated by Daniel Monaghan and include Kaushik Patel and Daryl Murry, all of UNMC.
The National Strategic Research Institute is funded by U.S. Strategic Command and represents one of just 14 University-Affiliated Research Centers designated by the U.S. Department of Defense.