Three epidemics (SARS in 2003, pandemic influenza in 2009, and Ebola in 2014) have revealed both strengths and weaknesses in our national preparedness to mount a comprehensive response. The DHVI Pandemic Preparedness programs seeks to build upon DHVI’s world-class expertise in pandemic preparedness training, virology, immunology and CGMP manufacturing to strengthen our national response to future pandemic emergencies. We are taking a holistic approach to include pandemic preparedness training to improve and provide occupational training to those who may be exposed to infectious diseases and rapid development of pathogen-specific countermeasures to be deployed in a pandemic emergency. The DHVI Pandemic Preparedness programs include the Duke Infectious Diseases Response Training (DIDRT) and the Duke DARPA Pandemic Prevent Platform (P3) program.
In response to the anthrax attacks of 2001, the NIAID/NIH funded construction of 12 Regional Biocontainment Laboratories (RBLs) with two mandates: 1) provide state-of-the-art containment space to support research on drugs, diagnostics and vaccines against biological threats and emerging infections; and 2) support local and national responses to infectious disease emergencies. RBLs were strategically constructed at major academic medical centers to create a broad research and response-training network. The Duke RBL facility in the DHVI is the home of the two Pandemic Preparedness programs (DIDIRT and P3).