Centers of Excellence for Translational Research (CETR) Locations

Novel Antimicrobials Targeting MDR Pathogens from Animal Microbial Symbionts

PI: David Andes
Award Location: University of Wisconsin

Fungal and bacterial pathogens with no effective therapies are rapidly emerging. Researchers are working to develop a new platform to discover the next generation of antimicrobial drugs. This new platform takes advantage of the evolutionary selection of highly relevant natural products from symbiotic relationships between animals and antibiotic-producing bacteria.

Advancement of Vaccines and Therapies for Henipaviruses 

PI: Christopher Broder
Award Location: Henry M. Jackson Foundation

Nipah and Hendra are highly pathogenic viruses which occur naturally and can cause major health threats to both human and livestock health. There are currently no countermeasures approved for human use. This Center focuses on the advanced development of the most promising antivirals for postexposure protection of nonhuman primates against henipaviruses.

Prometheus: A Platform for Rapid Development of Human Antibody-based Therapeutics and Prophylactics against Emerging Viral Threats 

PI: Kartik Chandran
Award Location: Albert Einstein college of Medicine

No Food and Drug Administration -approved treatments exist for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) and the Andes and Sin Nombre hantaviruses, which are responsible for severe disease in humans. This Center will develop and deliver treatments against each of these groups of viruses that are based on antibodies isolated from humans who have recovered from infection. Such natural antibody-based treatments can be more easily developed into drugs to treat people and with fewer risks of side effects.

Modulation of Protein Production and Degradation as an Integrated Approach to Rapid Sterilization of Drug Sensitive and Resistant Mtb

PI: Nader Fotouhi
Award Location: Global Alliance for TB Drug Development

By bringing together key expertise from various institutions, this Center focuses on modulating and inhibiting the three major drug targets that constitute the complex and coordinated network of processes that maintain proteostasis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb): transcription, translation and protein degradation. The goal is to advance candidate treatment options and develop universally active drug regimens that will reduce the duration of therapy and suppress the development of drug resistance.

Advancement of Vaccines and Treatments for Ebola and Marburg Virus Infections

PI: Thomas Geisbert
Award Location: University of Texas Medical Branch

The filoviruses, Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus, are categorized as Category A priority pathogens. There are no medical countermeasures approved for human use. This Center focuses on the advanced development of the most promising rapid-acting vaccine and lead candidate postexposure treatments. These projects represent the most effective strategies that have shown protection of nonhuman primates against filoviruses.

Innovative Technologies to Transform Antibiotic Discovery

PI: Deborah Hung
Award Location: Broad Institute

Antibiotic resistance is currently outpacing antibiotic discovery and development, particularly for serious Gram-negative infection. Here researchers are appling innovative strategies and technologies including genomics, microfluidics, synthetic biology and conjugation chemistry to the discovery of new Gram-negative antibiotics.

Center of Excellence for Encephalitic Alphavirus Therapeutics 

PI: Colleen Jonsson
Award Location: University of Tennessee Health Science Center

The goal of this Center is to advance the lead optimization and development of potent small molecule replication inhibitors as antiviral drug candidates targeting Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus and Western equine encephalitis virus. The encephalitic alphaviruses are important epidemic and biothreat agents which have no effective therapeutics to treat the diseases that they cause in human populations.

Autophagy Modulators as Novel Broad-Spectrum Anti-Infective Agents

PI: Beth Levine
Award Location: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

 This team of researchers, with expertise in autophagy, immunology, microbiology and chemistry, is utilizing a novel approach to treating infections. Instead of creating drugs that target proteins made by pathogens, investigators aim to develop drugs that control infection by stimulating a key part of the body’s own defense system, called autophagy. A single autophagy-inducing drug might be able to be used to treat multiple, known pathogens and be immediately available to treat emerging infectious diseases.

Center to Develop Innovative Therapeutics to Multidrug-Resistant High-threat Bacterial Agents

PI: David Perlin
Award Location: Hackensack University Medical Center

Multidrug-resistant bacterial infections are a major health threat, as current antibiotics are often effective. There is a critical unmet medical need to develop new antibiotics and restore a diminished pipeline for new drugs. The goal of this Center for early drug development targeting multidrug-resistant bacteria of clinical significance is to help reinvigorate the drug development pipeline by identifying novel compounds and develop them as selected optimized candidates suitable for preclinical studies.

Consortium for Immunotherapeutics against Emerging Viral Threats 

PI: Erica Saphire
Award Location: La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

Three major families of emerging viruses (Lassa and other arenaviruses, Ebola and other filoviruses, and mosquito-borne alphaviruses) threaten human health worldwide but lack approved therapeutics or vaccines. The goal of this multidisciplinary consortium is to advance safe and effective, fully human, monoclonal antibody therapies against these viruses, using candidate therapies that confer complete protection in non-human primates as our starting point. The collaborative databases, multivariate analyses and innovative antibody optimization strategies will establish platforms for discovery and delivery of much-needed treatments against these and other infectious diseases.

Antiviral Drug Discovery and Development Center (AD3C) 

PI: Richard Whitley
Award Location: University of Alabama

The goal of this Center is to develop small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of RNA viruses, focusing on the following: coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS; alphaviruses including Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and chikungunya; flaviviruses including dengue, West Nile virus, and Zika; and influenza A virus).  


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