Texas Tech Biodefense Law Center Nets Five-Year Funding
May 11, 2009
The more-than $250,000 grant to the center will be used for daily operations and continuing
Texas Tech University's Center for Biodefense, Law and Public Policy in the School
of Law will once again receive a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health
and the Western Regional Center of Excellence (WRCE), despite recent WRCE budget cuts
which affected other universities.
The biodefense center received funding in 2004 to act as the Law, Policy and Ethics
Core for the WRCE for the previous five years and will continue that role through
2014 with the second grant.
Established in 2002, the center conducts cutting-edge research that is valuable to
the security of the nation as the need to counter bioterrorism increases. Directed
by Vickie Sutton, the Center for Biodefense works to establish standards for law and
raise public policy issues in biodefense.
"I am particularly pleased with the confidence shown in us to continue the research,
education and service that we are doing in biodefense and biosecurity law benefiting
not only the WRCE but other research centers of excellence throughout the U.S.," said
Sutton. "The grant money will continue to aid the center in conducting research in
the areas of biodefense, public health preparedness, biosecurity and biosafety law."
Nearly $256,000, which will be used to maintain daily operation and research, comes
to the Center for Biodefense at Texas Tech through a grant from the National Institutes
of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).
"Receiving an NIH/NIAID grant is certainly a distinction not only for the law school
but for the entire University," said Guy Bailey, president of Texas Tech University."
As the Law, Policy and Ethics Core for the WRCE, the biodefense center will provide
legal counsel on policies and regulations in the areas of publications, primate testing,
vaccine approval processes, human subject testing and intellectual property.
"The Center for Biodefense, Law and Public Policy has been a unique resource for law
students," said Walt Huffman, dean of the Texas Tech School of Law. "I am pleased
to see this continuing benefit from the funding for awarding law students Center Fellowships."
Recently, the Biodefense Center at Texas Tech opened a biosecurity and biosafety law
hotline for researchers, safety officers and lawyers. It also has conducted regional
and national surveys regarding biodefense research and compliance with the Select
Agent Regulations. It is the only law school center in the U.S. to be funded by NIH
and NIAID through the biodefense research program.
The WRCE is an organization of 32 institutions, including 24 universities in Texas,
New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. It was created to establish a strong
infrastructure for research and development in the field of bioterrorism, specializing
in generating new diagnostic methods and vaccines.
Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu
CONTACT: Brie Sherwin, assistant director, Center for Biodefense, Law and Public Policy,
School of Law, Texas Tech University,
(806) 742-3787 ext. 319, or firstname.lastname@example.org.