NIAID establishes centers for research in emerging infectious diseases


Global network to focus on spillover potential


Credit: NIAID

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health, today announced that it has awarded 11 grants with a total first-year value of approximately $17 million to establish the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID). The global network will involve multidisciplinary investigations into how and where viruses and other pathogens emerge from wildlife and spillover to cause disease in people. NIAID intends to provide approximately $82 million over 5 years to support the network.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a potent reminder of the devastation that can be wrought when a new virus infects humans for the first time,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci. “The CREID network will enable early warnings of emerging diseases wherever they occur, which will be critical to rapid responses. The knowledge gained through this research will increase our preparedness for future outbreaks.”

Each Center in the network will involve collaborations with peer institutions in the United States and 28 other countries. Research projects will include surveillance studies to identify previously unknown causes of febrile illnesses in humans; find the animal sources of viral or other disease-causing pathogens; and determine what genetic or other changes make these pathogens capable of infecting humans. CREID investigators also will develop reagents and diagnostic assays to improve detection of emerging pathogens and study human immune responses to new or emerging infectious agents. Overall, the breadth of research projects in the CREID network will allow for study of disease spillover in multiple phases of the process: where pathogens first emerge from an animal host; at the borders between wild and more populated areas, where human-to-human transmission occurs; and, finally, in urban areas, where epidemic spread can occur.

Each Center will focus efforts on one or more regions of the world. In Central and South America, for example, studies will include investigations of several arthropod-borne viruses (“arboviruses”) including the ones that cause Zika virus disease, chikungunya and dengue. In East and Central Africa, focus pathogens will include Rift Valley fever virus and the coronavirus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome. In West Africa, in addition to arboviruses, projects are slated on Ebola virus and Lassa virus. In Asia and Southeast Asia, investigators will conduct research on coronaviruses and arboviruses. In every region, investigators will be poised to study any newly emerging pathogen, dubbed “pathogen X.”

An award to RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, in collaboration with Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, will fund a CREID Coordinating Center. This center will support network-wide activities such as data management, outbreak research response and quality control for biospecimens, assays and reagents. It will also administer a pilot research program for early career investigators.

For more information about the CREID network, visit

The Coordinating Center, 10 CREIDs, principal investigators, Center name, research regions and grant numbers are:

Donald Brambilla, Ph.D., RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Tony Moody, M.D., Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina

CREID Coordinating Center; 1 U01AI151378-01

Kristian Andersen, Ph.D., Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California

West African Emerging Infectious Disease Research Center (WAEIDRC)

West Africa; 1 U01 AI151812-01

Peter Daszak, Ph.D., EcoHealth Alliance, Inc., New York, New York

Emerging Infectious Diseases-South East Asia Research Collaboration Hub (EID-SEARCH)

Southeast Asia; 1 U01 AI151797-01

Eva Harris, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

American and Asian Centers for Arboviral Research and Enhanced Surveillance (A2CARES)

Central and South America, South Asia; 1 U01 AI151788-01

Christine K. Johnson, VMD, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine

EpiCenter for Emerging Infectious Disease Intelligence (EEIDI)

Central Africa and South America; 1 U01 AI151814-01

M. Kariuki Njenga, DVM. Ph.D., Washington State University, Pullman

Center for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases-East and Central Africa (CREID-ECA)

East and Central Africa; 1 U01 AI151799-01

Anavaj Sakuntabhai, M.D., Ph.D., Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

Pasteur International Center for Research on Emerging Infectious Diseases (PICREID)

West and Central Africa and Southeast Asia; 1 U01 AI151758-01

Nikos Vasilakis, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston

Coordinating Research on Emerging Arboviral Threats Encompassing the Neotropics (CREATE-NEO)

Central and South America; 1 U01 AI151807-01

Wesley C. Van Voorhis, M.D., Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle

United World Antiviral Research Network (UWARN)

South America, West and South Africa, Middle East, and Asia; 1 U01 AI151698-01

David Wang, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

Center for Research in Emerging Infectious Disease-Epidemiology, Surveillance, Pathogenesis (CREID-ESP)

Asia, East Africa; 1 U01 AI151810-01

Scott C. Weaver, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston

West African Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (WAC-EID)

West Africa; 1 U01 AI151801-01


NIAID conducts and supports research–at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide–to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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Anne A. Oplinger
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