National Center for Biodefense & Infectious Disease

National Center for Biodefense & Infectious Disease

Director, Charles Bailey

Acronym: NCBID Website
Unit: College of Science (COS)
Department: School for Systems Biology (SSB) Phone: 703-993-4265
Fax: 703-993-4280
Location: 10650 Pyramid Place Manassas, VA 20110

NCBID's mission is to develop and evaluate diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to counter the threat of bio-terrorism and newly emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases. Emphasis is placed on developing broad spectrum therapeutic drugs that modulate the adverse host response to the pathogen.


The National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID) was founded in 2001 to address the challenges to national and international security posed by biological terrorism. The scope of the center has evolved to include the study of infectious diseases that are emerging from populations around the world and are attributable, in part, to today's internationally mobile society.

Developing Solutions for Biodefense

NCBID scientists explore innovative approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases caused by biological agents. Among its multiple goals, NCBID is pursuing research into environmental sampling to identify biological threats, aerobiology techniques to investigate airborne biological pathogens and toxins, and pathogenic mechanisms in microbial diseases to develop new approaches for prevention and treatment. NCBID recently constructed a biomedical research laboratory (biosafety level 3) to develop and evaluate promising new diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics against biological threat agents and emerging infectious diseases. The center first opened in mid-2011 with fully functional BSL-2 space.

Research Addresses Health and Security Challenges

Since its inception, NCBID has attracted state and federal grants and awards to study infectious diseases that result from biological terrorism or natural causes. Research efforts focus on:
• Testing and evaluating new vaccines and therapeutics in vitro for the prevention and treatment of highly infectious pathogens
• Testing and evaluating therapeutics in established and novel animal models
• Creating pre-symptomatic diagnostic technologies for diseases that are potential bioterror threats, such as anthrax, tularemia, plague, Rift valley fever, and Venezuelan encephalitis virus as well as emerging infectious diseases, such as MERSA and influenza
• Developing technologies to detect and identify biological threat agents in environmental samples using nanotechnologies
• Identifying virulence factors and biomarkers so that therapeutics can be developed for gastrointestinal forms of the disease
• Using blood-based molecular profiling technologies to investigate novel methods for diagnosing human exposure to and the presence of biological threat agents in human tissue at the molecular level.

Alliances with Strategic Partners

NCBID welcomes opportunities for strategic alliances and collaborative relationships with defense contractors, biotechnology and pharmaceutical corporate partners, federal government agencies, and private research entities to respond to efforts to protect citizens nationally and internationally against potential bioterror threats. Partners with ongoing research initiatives include U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center - Topographic Engineering Center, U.S. Department of Energy, Commonwealth Health Research Board (Virginia), and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Education and Research Opportunities
NCBID offers graduate courses in biodefense that prepare students for employment in biodefense-related positions in academia, industry, and homeland security. The courses are part of an overall program that provides students with a background in the science and technology of biodefense and threat analysis of biological weapons.

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