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NIST invests $16.8M in Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

The Rockville-based Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) announces a newly funded five-year cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) headed by the co-directors of IBBR, Dr. David J. Weber (PI) and Dr. John Marino (NIST).

This award provides more than $3.3 million each year to support groundbreaking research, including technology and standards development that will impact vaccine and therapeutic discovery and development and to improve access to life-saving treatments for addressing other crucial health challenges.

IBBR is a joint research enterprise of the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Maryland, Baltimore and NIST. Research born out of this new cooperative agreement will be applied to accelerating the development and manufacturing of new pharmaceutical and vaccine approaches including cell and gene therapies and mRNA vaccines.

This type of bioscience and bioengineering research will enable robust and rapid responses to pandemics and help remove obstacles to care and treatment related to rare childhood diseases and complex cancers.

As part of the new agreement, NIST provided state-of-the-art equipment for the “IBBR Commons”—a highly sophisticated research space shared with researchers throughout Maryland and the nation. For example, NIST recently partnered with Maryland to establish the Maryland Center for Advanced Molecular Analysis (M-CAMA) that established new cryo-electron (cryoEM) instruments and facilities to be used by NIST and researchers in Maryland for the timely development of new therapies and vaccines.

IBBR was established by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents in 2010, building on and integrating previous partnerships between the University of Maryland and NIST that date back to 1984. The institute connects dozens of experts from interrelated fields of study with the common goal of accomplishing world-class interdisciplinary research that can lead to real-world advances like drug discovery, more effective vaccines, and disease prevention and treatment.