NIAID funds new influenza research network



Credit: NIAID

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has established a network of research sites to study the natural history, transmission and pathogenesis of influenza and provide an international research infrastructure to address influenza outbreaks. The program, called the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Response (CEIRR), is expected to be supported for seven years by NIAID contracts to five institutions. Funding for the first year of the contracts will total approximately $24 million. CEIRR will replace the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) program, which was supported by contracts that concluded on March 31, 2021.

The CEIRR sites will conduct studies in the United States and internationally that follow cohorts of people to evaluate influenza-related research areas, such as understanding immune responses to vaccination and infection and identifying which immunological factors can determine influenza disease severity. They also will undertake projects on influenza surveillance, including transmission of influenza viruses from animals to humans (zoonotic transmission) to better understand how influenza viruses evolve, adapt and transmit. The sites will prepare studies that could be rapidly launched as part of emergency research responses to outbreaks of influenza and other emerging viral pathogens.

Although CEIRR is primarily focused on influenza, the network also will study SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and other emerging viruses of pandemic potential. The following sites have been awarded a contract by NIAID as part of the CEIRR program:

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York

Contract number: 75N93021C00014

Amount: $6,001,311

Principal investigator: Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, Ph.D.

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Contract number: 75N93021C00015

Amount: $6,984,256

Principal investigator: Scott Hensley, Ph.D.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee

Contract number: 75N93021C00016

Amount: $8,992,234

Principal investigator: Richard Webby, Ph.D.

Co-Principal investigator: Stacey Schultz-Cherry, Ph.D.

Emory University in Atlanta

Contract number: 75N93021C00017

Contractor Name: Emory University

Amount: $1,000,671

Principal investigator: Walter Orenstein, M.D.

Co-Principal investigator: Anice Lowen, Ph.D.

University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., Athens

Contract number: 75N93021C00018

Amount: $1,000,000

Principal investigator: Stephen Mark Tompkins, Ph.D.

Co-Principal investigator: Pejman Rohani, Ph.D.

Marciela DeGrace, Ph.D., program officer in the Respiratory Diseases Branch, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, NIAID, is available to comment on the CEIRR program.

To schedule interviews, please contact the NIAID Office of Communications, (301) 402-1663, [email protected]


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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