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The over-arching theme for the MARCE Research Programs is “Emerging pathogen-host interactions”. The five major research programs centered around this theme are listed below.

I. Emerging Viruses

Program Shepherds: Robert Doms (U. of Pennsylvania, [UPenn]) and Judith M. White (U. of Virginia [UVA])

The central theme of this Research Program, which emphasizes under-studied NIAID Category A and emerging pathogens, is the analysis of virus-host interactions to detect therapeutic targets and identify and allow development of therapeutic agents.

II. Virus Entry

Program Shepherds: Christopher Broder (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, [USUHS]) and Stuart Isaacs (UPenn)

The central theme of this Research Program is to focus on the attachment and entry of viruses into cells with the goal of teasing out and identifying the molecular details of both the viral and cellular factors involved in this process.

III. Mucosal Pathogens

Program Shepherds: Richard L. Guerrant (UVA) and Alan Cross (UMB)

The central themes of this Research Program are: 1) how various pathogens interact with the gastrointestinal and respiratory mucosa; and 2) ways to stimulate different arms of the mucosal and systemic immune system. The objectives are to seek common features and virulence mechanisms among the different pathogens that may be amenable to the design of broad spectrum therapeutic interventions to interrupt pathogenesis and synergistic immune responses to confer broad spectrum protection.

IV. Toxins

Program Shepherds: Alison O'Brien (USUHS) and Erik Hewlett (UVA)

The central theme of Research Program IV is to study how toxins of various NIAID Category A-C microorganisms and certain emerging pathogens interact with host cells, the consequences of those interactions, and the development of methods to block or ameliorate the impact of these virulence factors on the target cells and the host.

V. Diagnostics

Program Shepherds: Richard Rothman (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, [JHU]) and Chris Geddes (University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, [UMBI])

Research Program V will incorporate state of-the-art technologies and translational research capacity and will promote relationships with biotechnology companies that may lead to product development, with a particular emphasis on broad-based platforms. The Program will be comprised of two ‘hubs’ that will house proven technologies well along the pathway toward commercialization and licensure.