National biodefense lab dedicated in Texas

Texas A&M University recently dedicated a new national biodefense center designed to provide medical countermeasures against chemical and biological agents and to swiftly manufacture vaccines in case of a pandemic.

The A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing is one of three national centers funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The others are located in Maryland and North Carolina, according to

"This is a problem solving endeavor," Brett Giroir, the vice chancellor for strategic initiatives of the Texas A&M University System, said, reports. "These are not minimal problems. These are big important problems for the country. And we're going to bring everybody to the table we solve the problems and protect public health."

University officials described the center as the largest federal investment in Texas since NASA nearly 50 years ago. The $285.6 million initial investment came predominantly from a public-private partnership with HHS. Texas committed $40 million to the laboratory and the federal government added $176 million. The remainder is to be cost-shared by university commercial and academic proposal partners.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) and Dr. Robin Robinson, the director of the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, joined officials from the Texas A&M University System in participating in the dedication ceremony.