Bayer donates equipment to Children's Hospital, Oakland for infectious disease research

03/16/05

Oakland, CA March 16, 2005-- The Berkeley, CA division of Bayer Biological Products (BP), a division of Bayer HealthCare, has donated several sophisticated laboratory instrumentation devices valued at more than $100,000 to enhance infectious disease research at Children's Hospital & Research Center at Oakland's research center known as Children's Hospital Research Institute (CHORI).

Housed inside the research institute's new Center for Immunobiology and Vaccine Development (CIVD), the equipment includes a Flow Cytometer and two high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems. The CIVD, which opened last month, is a $5.6 million, state-of-the-art facility that brings together a variety of research programs focused on understanding the immunology of infectious diseases, both existing and emerging, and developing vaccines to prevent them. The equipment donated by Bayer BP will enhance the capacity for detailed investigations and research studies at the CIVD.

"Because this equipment is so specialized, it is usually only available at much larger research institutions," said Gregory Moe, PhD, research scientist at Children's Research Center, also known as the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). "Here at CHORI, the equipment will increase our capabilities to search for new vaccine candidates and study the effectiveness of vaccines for preventing disease caused by bacterial pathogens," he said.

The equipment provided by Bayer's Berkeley Facility will be used for biological sample separation and testing, nucleic acid analysis, pipetting robotics and high precision cell characterization. Also included with the gift are standard equipment needed for routine laboratory functions: microscopes, centrifuges, pipettors, electronic scales and power supplies.

"The equipment will allow us to study interactions between antibodies and cells, purify molecules and measure binding interactions between molecules that are available in only very small amounts," Moe said. "We're very pleased to benefit from the generosity of Bayer BP. The gift is a significant enhancement to the CIVD and will benefit the research of many CHORI scientists."

The CIVD at CHORI includes interactive laboratories and office spaces, as well as specialized, shared facilities including a Biological Safety Level-3 (BL-3) facility, which represents one of the highest national safety and security standards for scientists to conduct molecular, cellular and clinical studies into some of the most serious infectious diseases, particularly in children, for which no vaccines are available. For those vaccines that are available, CHORI scientists will be using these specialized facilities to understand and improve how vaccines work.

"As a member of the scientific community and the Berkeley community, Bayer BP is committed to making a difference where it matters -- with our patient communities and in the Bay Area," said Konstantin Konstantinov, Director, Process and Technology, Bayer Biological Products. "It is our hope that the donated equipment will help improve the research capabilities at CHORI and lead to exciting and innovative discoveries in the immunology of infectious disease."

CHORI is ranked 6th among the country's children's hospital research centers for National Institutes of Health funding. With 37 principal investigators and an annual budget of $47 million, CHORI has achieved significant research advancements in vaccine development, pediatric obesity, nutrition, cancers, sickle cell disease, AIDS/HIV, hemophilia and cystic fibrosis.

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