Norovirus Collaborative Grant

NOROVIRUS COLLABORATIVE GRANT:
IFSH is part of a multi-institutional research effort to study and mitigate foodborne illnesses associated with viruses

The Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), is one of more than 30 institutions awarded a $25 million collaborative grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to strengthen food safety by studying human noroviruses across the food supply chain in an effort to design effective control measures and reduce the number of virus-caused foodborne illnesses.

The grant was officially announced today by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at the International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, WI. Secretary Vilsack told the audience of food safety professionals that USDA NIFA has made food safety research one of its top priorities. Last year, NIFA funded more than $70 million in food safety research and education projects.

"Today, I'd like to announce a $25 million award to study human noroviruses across the food supply chain," said Secretary Vilsack. "This is important work, and will help us understand how human noroviruses are transmitted and survive in food, and ultimately strengthen our efforts to control them. Enhancing our understanding of human noroviruses is the first step toward reducing the number of foodborne illnesses they cause."

The $25 million grant will fund the development of a team of researchers, led by North Carolina State University, to establish the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative to increase understanding of foodborne viruses through a range of scientific studies and education initiatives.