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Albany Medical College Gets Grant To Fight Bio-terror

Albany Medical College has received a five-year, $10.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. WAMC's Dave Lucas has details.

It is the largest single research grant ever awarded to the College; the money will fund ongoing bio-defense research targeting the bacterium that causes tularemia, a potentially deadly disease that could become a dangerous bioterror weapon and for which there is no vaccine. Researchers say that a very small number of bacteria, 10 to 15 organisms, can be fatal, and can be disseminated fairly easily as an aerosol. During the Cold War stockpiles of the bacterium were kept by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union.  

Tularemia research has been conducted at Albany Med since 2002, supported largely by NIH grants totaling approximately $17.6 million. In addition to focusing on finding a vaccine, researchers have been engaged in projects searching for treatments.

Copyright 2012 WAMC

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.