Viruses are the simplest of biological systems, consisting only of protein and nucleic acid and incapable of reproducing themselves without a host. Yet viruses have made a huge impact on 20th century life, from their role as infectious agents in devastating diseases like smallpox and AIDS to their use as one of the key tools in the quest to decipher the workings of the gene. Virology research in Nebraska ranges across disciplines and into the frontiers of research, exploring the basic nature of viruses and their potential applications for diagnosis and control of diseases in plants, animals, and humans.
It is the vision of the NCV to create a nationally recognized center of biomedical research excellence. The NCV will accomplish this by creating an infrastructure linking the strong virology programs of these three institutions and attracting to Nebraska promising new investigators with similar research interests.
The common purpose of the NCV is to add expertise in biomedically important areas of virology by:
- Creating a multi-disciplinary environment that will stimulate cross-fertilization to produce a new generation of innovative researchers with a broad knowledge encompassing the entire field of virology.
- Developing partnerships between basic and clinical researchers working with human, animal, and potentially important plant systems, with a common goal of unraveling the mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and replication. The understanding of these fundamental processes will enable the design of novel vaccines and therapeutic strategies to block disease.
- Conducting innovative research addressing the fundamental questions about infectious agents and the host responses that may lead to pathological changes, especially neuropathogenesis and apoptosis.