Texas A&M dedicates national biodefense center

POSTED: Monday, July 23, 2012 - 4:45pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 2:08pm

COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M has the honor of being the only academic institution in the United States to be chosen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a center that will help prevent another pandemic like the bird flu.

Have you ever wondered where your vaccines come from?

Well, thanks to a $285.6 federal grant, you won't have to search very far anymore.

Dr. Brett Giroir, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives at A&M said, "What today means is that here in Bryan-College Station, we officially opened as one of the most important bio-technology hubs within the country."

A&M is just one of three national biodefense centers and today top school officials, members from the Department of Health and Human services and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison were on hand for the center's official opening.

"It is wonderful to be here at this incredible center where Texas A&M is really taking the lead," Senator Hutchison said.

In just 12 weeks the Texas A&M Center for Innovations will be able to make 50 million units of vaccinations in case of an epidemic or an act of bio-terrorism, cutting the production time in half.

After the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services realized something needed to be done to prevent future pandemics.

"We need to have U.S. made and U.S. manufactured products here for our own needs," said Dr. Robin Robinson, deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

And Texas A&M will do just that.

"We're here to be the emergency response network," Dr. Giroir said.

Helping to save millions of lives when the threat arises.


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