Group Whose NIH Grant For Virus Research Was Revoked Just Got A New Grant

Group Whose NIH Grant For Virus Research Was Revoked Just Got A New Grant

Publication date: Aug 30, 2020

The nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance had its NIH research money cut for a project in China on bats and coronaviruses this spring – but just got a new multimillion dollar grant from the agency.

The nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance had its NIH research money cut for a project in China on bats and coronaviruses this spring – but just got a new multimillion dollar grant from the agency.

NHPA/NHPA/Science Source The National Institutes of Health has awarded a grant worth $7. 5 million over five years to EcoHealth Alliance, a U. S.-based nonprofit that hunts emerging viruses.

The award comes months after NIH revoked an earlier grant to EcoHealth, a move scientists widely decried as the politically motivated quashing of research vital to preventing the next coronavirus pandemic.

EcoHealth Alliance is one of 11 institutions and research teams receiving grants from NIH, announced this week, to establish the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

This multi-million-dollar support sends a far different message than what EcoHealth heard in April, when the NIH abruptly terminated an earlier grant to the group, saying NIH did not believe EcoHealth’s research aligned with “agency priorities. “

EcoHealth’s bat research in China was entirely funded through the $3. 7 million NIH grant.

Since the termination of the grant, that research has been at a complete standstill, says Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance.

He says the project had identified fragments of genetic sequences for hundreds of wholly new bat coronaviruses, including some that were close relatives of SARS-COV-2, the virus causing the current pandemic.

But for now, Daszak says he’s excited about the research that will be possible thanks to the new NIH grant for the creation of the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases, or CREID.

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