Scottish universities create Â£4.3 million centre to fight AI
A Â£4.3 million ($8.5 million; €6.3 million) research hub based at the University of
Edinburgh is to be at the forefront of global efforts in the prevention of an
avian flu pandemic.
The Interdisciplinary Centre for Human and Avian Influenza Research
(ICHAIR) draws together experts from the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and
St Andrews who will aim to develop new therapeutic agents to combat bird
. Leading biologists, virologists and epidemiologists will also work
together on new treatments for human flu.
The Centre, which has received Â£2 million ($4 million;
€3 million) from the Scottish Funding Council and Â£2.3 million
($4.6 million; €3.4 million) from the collaborating universities, will officially open on 1
Three areas of research
â€¢ Mathematical modelling - scientists will use
supercomputers to predict changes in the virulence of the virus and to create
models of outbreak scenarios.
â€¢ Pathogenesis - experts will carry out research into
the causes of the disease and the underlying factors that lead to its spread.
â€¢ Infection control - researchers will develop a
range of 'novel' anti-virals (which can block virus replication) and construct a
new generation of flu vaccines.
The Centre's director, Professor
of the Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University, is an
expert in the immune system's response to viral infections, who says that the
ultimate hope is that new ways of predicting and controlling major flu outbreaks
will be achieved, as well as discovering new therapies that quickly translate
into products for humans and animals.
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