ROCHESTER, NY - The University of Rochester medical center just received a multimillion dollar federal award that could change medicine and bring new jobs to the area.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases awarded the URMC $4.7 million to create and maintain the new Respiratory Pathogens Research Center.
Over 7 years, the university could receive $35 million to $50 million.
Center Director David Topham and the U of R Medical Center are already preparing for the new research projects for the center.
"I think it's important for Rochester because it really establishes us as one of the leading national centers in the study of respiratory infections," Topham said.
The center will create or retain 250 jobs for lab technicians, nurses, analysts, scientists and more.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people int he U.S. get sick and even die from respiratory infections like the flu and pneumonia.
"What we don't understand is why some people get severely ill with these infections and others are just fine," Topham said. "We'd like to understand that and that's one of the things we'll be studying in the center."
The pathogen center will use labs at URMC and Rochester General Hospital for research.
The goal is to better understand the bacteria and microbes that cause infections, as well as develop vaccines and possible cures.