UCR, UC Davis Land $8 Million CDC Grant to Fight Vector-Borne Diseases
Riverside, CA – This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention has announced a bold step to enhance public-health preparedness for diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks in the nation’s Southwest. With an $8 million grant from the CDC, UC Riverside and UC Davis researchers will launch the Pacific Southwest Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases later this month.
“This Center of Excellence will bring together researchers using the latest cutting-edge approaches in the laboratory and field with practitioners protecting public health,” said UC Riverside Professor of Entomology and Center Co-Director William Walton. “[This will allow us] to develop a community of practice and provide new technologies to prevent the occurrence of vector-borne diseases.”
The strength of the collaboration between the two UC campuses is drawing from multiple disciplines to address the challenges of vector-borne pathogens, which are transmitted by insects and other organisms. Both are top-tier research and teaching institutions with leading experts in vector-borne diseases, including entomologists, epidemiologists, virologists, and computer scientists who train a diverse group of scholars interested in public health.
The Center’s funding begins later this month and continues through the end of 2021. The Center has three goals; to conduct applied research to develop and test effective prevention and control tools for vector-borne disease outbreaks; to train vector biologists, entomologists, and physicians to address vector-borne disease concerns and to strengthen and expand collaboration among academic communities and public health organizations at federal, state and local levels.
UC Davis and UC Riverside already have strong collaborations with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC), who will be critical partners in the Center.
The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California’s diverse culture, UCR’s enrollment is now nearly 23,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.