Local News

RTI Researcher Receives CDC Grant For Pandemic Influenza Research

Posted October 13, 2006 2:50 a.m. EDT

— A researcher at

RTI International

is one of several who were awarded $5.2 million in grants from the Centers for Disease Control to research community-level measures for dealing with an influenza pandemic.

Scott Holmberg of RTI will research non-pharmaceutical interventions. The CDC is conducting the studies given that production of a vaccine to combat a pandemic could take months, the CDC said.

Community non-pharmaceutical interventions would be the first line of defense, the CDC said. However, little research has been conducted about how effective such strategies would be.

"While we can't predict the severity of an influenza pandemic before it begins, our ability to effectively respond will depend on how well communities and states can take steps to reduce spread of disease," said Julie Gerberding, the CDC director. "Our challenge now is to determine which community-level measures will work best to limit the spread of infection."

Also receiving grants were researchers at the University of California, Berkeley; University of Pittsburgh; University of Hong Kong; University of Michigan; Columbia University; University of Otago, New Zealand; and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.