Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research & Surveillance
Established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in April 2007, the Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (MCEIRS) sponsors a range of experimental research and surveillance initiatives aimed at enhancing understanding of the diversity, reassortment, and transmission of influenza viruses, including the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus.
Primary goals of MCEIRS' program include:
- Identifying and characterizing influenza viruses among wild birds, poultry, swine, and selected high-risk human populations, with current surveillance programs under way in North America, Central America, Asia, and East Africa
- Addressing key questions and information gaps on the natural history, epidemiology, ecology, and transmission of the 2009 novel H1N1 virus and other influenza viruses having pandemic potential
- Translating research findings into effective public health interventions and evidence-based policies for pandemic preparedness, prevention, and control
- Providing scientific and technical expertise to NIH and the federal government before or during an influenza pandemic
- Implementing training and workforce development in animal and related human influenza surveillance.
Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), University of Minnesota, serves as MCEIRS' director and principal investigator. MCEIRS is one of five Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH.