2021 Projects

Teaming for Interdisciplinary Research Pre-Seed Program

Integrated Approaches to Address Current and Future High Consequence Biological Agents

Integrated Approaches to Address Current and Future High Consequence Biological Agents

illustration of animals and microbes

The COVID-19 Pandemic has spawned new frontiers of research for UGA investigators and through these collaborations, mass spectrometry expertise on campus is facilitating new avenues of inquiry for the campus infectious disease community. These interactions leverage the unique strengths and capabilities present across units at the University of Georgia. To our knowledge, our collaboration represents the combination of expertise and experimental capabilities not present elsewhere. These include the ability to employ BSL3 in vitro and in vivo models from small animal to non-human primates and large animal (AHRC), complex carbohydrate and complementary omics analysis (CCRC), and to translate these findings into a public health context and enable positive health outcomes (CPH).

Our collaborative approach will center around the recent integration of a high-performance mass spectrometry platform within the BSL3 containment environment of the UGA AHRC. This capability enables the unique opportunity to generate analytical measurements of BSL3 host-pathogen interactions including high consequence select agents. Appropriately trained personnel are able to conduct analytical measurements of actively infected biofluids and tissue providing three unique advantages: 1) analysis of material close to the natural infected state 2) expedience of measurements without the burden of extensive inactivation testing and 3) molecular determinants of susceptibility can be established in a much shorter time scale in conjunction with standard workflows. Pertinent data will therefore be more readily available to assess emerging threats.

We intend to utilize the requested seed funds as a means to formalize our efforts beyond the current pandemic and develop a strategic plan that will position our team to successfully seek extramural funding.

Team Lead

Franklin E. Leach III
College of Public Health

Team Members

Robert J. Hogan
College of Veterinary Medicine

Eric R. Lafontaine
College of Veterinary Medicine

Daniel G. Mead
College of Veterinary Medicine

Michael Tiemeyer
Complex Carbohydrate Research Center

Lance Wells
Complex Carbohydrate Research Center

flowchart of collaborations