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Objectives and Mission of the IDR2N

The IDR2N PRSE will coalesce faculty and expertise directed at the study of infectious diseases in a manner that capitalizes on new opportunities and existing resources, and that welcomes new and emerging interests in infectious diseases. The collective mission of this group will be the development and implementation of novel and synergistic approaches to enhance the control and prevention of infection and diseases, as well as to enhance CSU’s ability to respond to national and international needs. Through the pursuit of this mission the impact and visibility of CSU’s infectious diseases program will be enhanced; funding for infectious disease research will be strengthened; and increased opportunities for training and collaborations will emerge.

Strategic Areas of Emphasis

Activities directed at the study of infectious diseases is a strength of CSU’s research infrastructure, and will continue as such. The IDR2N PRSE has adopted and is implementing a four-point strategic plan to significantly enhance the productivity, visibility, and robustness of infectious disease research programs at CSU. These strategic initiative are inline with the goal of increasing interactions between the major infectious diseases research groups and faculty at CSU, and are designed to ensure existing resources and new opportunities are leveraged to achieve the IDR2N’s mission.

1. Enhance response to opportunities and needs.

The model of forming large interactive research groups around specific pathogens or diseases has been a sustainable model of success at CSU. Nevertheless, increased coordination between research groups and extension of collaborations beyond these groups is required to successfully address the scope of new opportunities. Thus, the IDR2N PRSE will implement a mechanism for rapid and effective response, and follow-up to address needs and opportunities. This mechanism encompasses the formation of ad-hoc “response SWAT teams”, for which members will be selected based scientific and administrative/service expertise. These SWAT teams will: i) establish a targeted plan and timeline for addressing a specific need or opportunity; ii) recruit the required participants (including individuals outside CSU), iii) coordinate efforts and communicate needs for technical or administrative support at the Department, College and University level; iv) establish a well-articulated plan of action and expected outcomes; v) coordinate communication of CSU’s efforts to the broader community; and vi) report on the outcome of activities.

2. Expand clinical collaborations for animal and human samples, and field studies.

Individual or small clusters of IDR2N PRSE faculty have established significant international collaborations that allow for the acquisition of patient samples, interactions with infectious diseases physicians, and access to infrastructure for clinical studies. Additionally, several of these investigators have started developing the infrastructure for good clinical practices (GCP). This growing infrastructure and existing collaborations will be exploited as a springboard for expansion. Additionally, it is recognized that the VDL represents an extraordinary resource for veterinary clinical samples and this resource is largely untapped by the IDR2N PRSE faculty and others. Thus, interactions with the VDL will be enhanced by facilitating communication between VDL personnel and PRSE faculty. The PRSE will also work with the VDL to develop a database or notification system for veterinary diagnostic samples that are available for the development and early stage evaluation of new diagnostic platforms or methodologies.

3. Promote ID research and infrastructure.

There is a need for investigators to be more proactive in publicizing the impact of their research efforts. Thus, through the use of webpages, and outreach programs such as the World TB Day efforts and Science-on-Tap the IDR2N will promote the local and global impact of infectious disease research at CSU. Additionally, the IDR2N will develop a yearly colloquium focused at emerging concepts in infectious disease research.  These colloquia will recruit leading experts from across the world to participate, and will be directly linked with efforts to improve infectious disease training and education at CSU.

4. Re-imagine course curriculum, expand training in state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, and pioneer translational activities.

New methodologies and technologies are rapidly being introduced into biomedical research, and there is increased emphasis on the translation of basic discoveries. The graduate program for infectious diseases training at CSU is robust and productive; however, it needs to be re-imagined to kept pace with the rapid changes and innovations occurring in the biomedical sciences, and how students acquire information. Thus, a major effort will be placed on modifying the existing graduate curricula and core courses to provide a more flexible framework for graduate students to build programs of study that meet the diverse needs of individual research projects.  Secondly, members of the IDR2N PRSE apply state-of-to-art techniques in their research activities (e.g. NextGen Sequencing, Mass Spectrometry, Confocal Microscopy, and Droplet Digital PCR), and through various core facilities IDR2N faculty direct or participate in training provided to scientists across CSU. The IDR2N will enhance these existing efforts through key partnerships and the development of summer training programs. Lastly, it is recognized that BioMARC represents a unique resource and this entity’s focus on product development and manufacturing for infectious diseases greatly increases CSU’s visibility as an academic leader in translational science. The expertise within BioMARC also provides an incredible opportunity to develop a graduate level training program in the area of translational science. Thus, the IDR2N PRSE will partner with BioMARC to boost graduate education for infectious diseases-translational sciences.

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Contact Us:
Dr. Candace Mathiason
Director, Infectious Disease Research and Response Network

Office: 229 Pathology
1619 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1619

​(970) 491-3975

​(970) 491-0603