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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2009


Funding Would Assist Study of Influenza Immunology; Create Jobs

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced final congressional passage for the Department of Defense appropriations bill which includes $1.6 million for Saranac Lake’s Trudeau Institute. The funding would be used to research the impact and efficacy of combining influenza vaccinations with antiviral prophylaxis. Former Congressman John McHugh helped secure this Defense funding while he was in the House. 


"This is great news for the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake," said Schumer.  "As we’ve seen, any strain of flu can be a serious threat to public health, especially to children, pregnant women and the elderly, and we must do everything we can to provide our research institutes with the funding needed to prepare for any influenza breakouts. This funding will help the Trudeau Institute study how to keep our military safe, but often this kind of research leads to breakthroughs that can be applied to society at large."


“It is critical to invest in life-saving medical research at our world-class facilities in the North Country,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Federal funding for this cutting edge research and treatment will help save and improve lives while supporting economic growth in the North Country. I will continue to work with Senator Schumer to ensure that New York receives its fair share of federal dollars and improved healthcare initiatives.”

Funding for this project will expand current efforts by assessing the efficacy of combining influenza vaccination with antiviral prophylaxis. Investigators at Trudeau will study the impact of antivirals on the generation of immunological memory in an animal model following influenza vaccination. The Institute will conduct a randomized, placebo-controlled study of TCAD. It will be administered in combination with a seasonal influenza vaccine, in effort to increase the efficacy of disease prevention. Funding for this project is estimated to create 75 jobs in the Saranac Lake area.


The Appropriations Bill for the Department of Defense was passed by the House last week and by the Senate this weekend. The legislation will now be sent to the President for signature.


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