Biological Agents and Infectious Diseases

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Debbie Lilly, CEcD

VP, Business Development
LinkedIn Profile

If you were the No. 1 producer of vaccines in the world, would you stop there? Us either.

We're home to nearly every brand name vaccine maker, from Talecris and GlaxoSmithKline to Pfizer, and from Merck to Novartis - the largest flu vaccine manufacturing plant in the country. And that's just the beginning. More makers continue flocking here, including Medicago, which is currently using tobacco leaves to produce pandemic and seasonal influenza VLP vaccines.

Our biological agents and infectious diseases cluster also includes the No. 1 public school of public health in the nation - University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health. (It's No. 2 among all schools, public or private).

Here you'll also find world-class environmental health research organizations, companies that are discovering and developing infectious disease therapies of all kinds, and specialized research centers that focus on combating agricultural disasters and bioterrorism, managing threats to the food supply, and providing safe, clean drinking water to communities around the world.

Leading-edge technologies developed in the region - sensors, analytical instruments and data mining - aid in the early detection of disease outbreaks and in identifying new strains of pathogens and types of diseases. Breakthrough nanomaterials developed here provide barrier systems and fabrics that control the spread of infection.

Global events of the past decade have thrust biological and disease threats and opportunities to the fore. Our region is leading the way - with research, development and innovative solutions - to make the world safer, healthier and better able to respond when biodisasters come our way.