Box E-1 Pilot Projects Initiated by NAS and Financed by DOD

The following projects were under way as of July 1997, with funds committed to Russian institutionsa :

At the State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology, “Vector,” Koltsovo

  • Study of prevalence, genotype distribution, and molecular variability of isolates of hepatitis C virus in the Asian part of Russia; $55,000; principal investigator, Sergei Netesov; collaborator, Elizabeth Robertson, CDC; ISTC 883

  • Monkeypox virus genome; $55,000; principal investigator, Sergei Shchelkunov; collaborators, Peter Jahrling, USAMRIID, and Joseph Esposito, CDC; ISTC 884

  • Study of the genetic and serologic diversity of hantaviruses in the Asian part of Russia; $55,000; principal investigator, Lyudmilla Yashina; collaborators, Connie Schmaljohn, USAMRIID, and Stuart Nichol, CDC; ISTC 805

  • Development of advanced diagnostic kit for opisthorchiasis in human patients; $55,000; principal investigator, Valery Loktev; collaborator, Victor Tsang, CDC; ISTC 691 At the State Research Center for Applied Microbiology, Obolensk:

  • Molecular-biological and immunochemical analysis of clinical strains of tuberculosis and mycobacteriosis; $138,000; principal investigator, Igor Shemyakin; collaborator, Thomas Shinnick, CDC; ISTC 810

  • Investigation of the immunological effectiveness of delivery in vivo of the Brucella main outer membrane protein by the anthrax toxin components; $61,500; principal investigator, Anatoly Noskov; collaborators, John Collier, Harvard University, and Arthur Friedlander, USAMRIID; ISTC 919

The following projects were being processed by ISTC as of October 1997:

At the State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology, “Vector,” Koltsovo

  • Experimental studies of antiviral activities of glycyrrhyzic acid derivatives against Marburg, Ebola, and human immunodeficiency virus; principal investigator, Andrei Pokrovsky; collaborator, John Huggins, USAMRIID.

At the State Research Center for Applied Microbiology, Obolensk:

  • Monitoring of Anthrax; principal investigator, Nikolai Staritsin; collaborator, Arthur Friedlander, USAMRIID.

NOTE: CDC = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; DOD = Department of Defense; USAMRIID = U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

a Funds committed to U.S. collaborating institutions are CDC, $47,000; USAMRIID, $20,000; Harvard University, $9,000.

The NAS committee used the following criteria in selecting the pilot projects:

  • Scientific importance of the topic;

  • Quality of the proposal;

  • Quality or capacity of the principal investigator, research team, and facilities;

  • Provision for strong U.S. collaboration;

  • Engagement of former Soviet BW expertise; and

  • Promotion of transparency.

The committee also made the judgment that each project's potential contributions to public health or U.S. national security interests outweigh the risk that the project might contribute to the development or improvement of offensive BW capabilities.

The pilot projects were limited efforts, and the committee concluded that the following additional criteria should be considered in the selection of projects within the larger program recommended in this report:

  • Likelihood of sustaining the research by attracting the interest of other organizations with financial capabilities to continue work in the general field after completion of the project and

  • Promotion of linkages between Russian scientists working in institutions that had been involved in BW activities and those that were not involved in such activities.

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