The Southeast Regional Center of Excellence for Emerging Infections and Biodefense (SERCEB)
was established in September 2003 at Duke University. The mission of SERCEB is to perform the basic and translational research to make drugs, vaccines and diagnostics to protect society from emerging infections and biothreats. Funded by the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, SERCEB investigators focus on select-agent infections and newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
The Center received support from the NIAID and State of Alabama for construction of the Southeast Biosafety Laboratory (SEBLAB)
, a BSL-3 laboratory. Following two years of bid solicitation and review and site preparation, which included demolition of two existing buildings, construction of the nearly 35,000 square foot facility began in July 2006. Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor and completion of the BSL-3 Laboratory is scheduled for February 2008. Research projects will focus on new vaccines for pox viruses, botulism, and anthrax. Other planned projects will investigate areas of emerging infections such as West Nile virus and influenza.
Through the NIAID Collaborative AntiViral Study Group (CASG)
, Dr. Whitley is directing ongoing or proposed clinical trials of the treatment of emerging infections such as West Nile Virus and pediatric influenza. Protocols are also being developed for treatment of influenza in pediatric patients (in conjunction with Roche Pharmaceuticals) and orthopox in adults (in conjunction with Chimerix).