Texas A&M University on Monday dedicated the first element of its new national biodefense center where researchers are to work on strategies to respond to bioterrorism and swiftly develop vaccines for a pandemic or some chemical, biological or nuclear threat.
The A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing is the first of five facilities being developed by the school’s partnership with the federal government, other academic institutions and private firms. It is one of three such national centers. Others are in Maryland and North Carolina.
“This is a problem solving endeavor,” Brett Giroir, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives of the Texas A&M University System, said. “These are not minimal problems. These are big important problems for the country. And we’re going to bring everybody to the table we can … to solve the problems and protect public health.”
Texas A&M System officials have described the project as the largest federal investment in the state since NASA in the 1960s. Texas has committed $40 million to the nearly $300 million project on the A&M campus in College Station. The federal government is contributing $176 million.
“What this center will provide is not only the ability to take research and technology and make it into products but also become honor and duty,” Robin Robinson, director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said.