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Wayne State University announces creation of two research centers and institutes that aim to impact the health of Detroiters and beyond

( DETROIT – Wayne State University Interim Vice President for Research Timothy Stemmler, Ph.D., announced today the university’s Board of Governors approved the creation of two research initiatives that aim to improve the health and lives of the Detroit community and beyond.

Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases

The Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases (CEID) will contribute to the ongoing advancement of diagnostic testing, enabling rapid and accurate identification of infectious agents. The center's researchers will engage with local and global communities to better understand disease transmission patterns, devise evidence-based strategies for prevention and control, and enhance public health preparedness. The epidemiological work that will take place within CEID will allow public health agencies to make informed decisions, particularly in times of urgent need, and allocate resources effectively.

“The mission of the Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases is to develop, evaluate and implement effective countermeasures against existing and emerging infectious disease threats,” said Marcus Zervos, M.D., co-director of the center. “Along with co-directors Teena Chopra, M.D., MPH, and Paul Kilgore, M.D., CEID will conduct basic, clinical and applied research to accelerate development and introduction of vaccines and related interventions to control emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases affecting populations in Detroit, Michigan, the United States and around the world. This center will be a unique resource within the Wayne State University and Detroit communities and beyond that will enable rapid implementation of research teams to prepare clinical vaccine trials in outpatient, inpatient and community settings.”

CEDI’s programs will provide credible, evidence-based information to guide informed decision-making for participation in clinical trials as well as utilization of proven tools that enhance preparedness and protect communities from diseases of epidemic and pandemic potential.

“It is our goal to be an important resource for many to understand emerging and infectious diseases that have increased mortality and morbidity impact,” said Zervos. “In particular, communities such as Detroit often have less direct access to information, and the center will play a critical role in providing our citizens with critical communications that can ultimately impact the health of themselves as well as their friends and family.”

“CEID’s state-of-the-art microbiology laboratory has capabilities for rapid detection of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases,” said Chopra. “This will provide quality and timely care to Detroit residents.”

Hossein Salimnia, Ph.D., serves as the microbiology director of the lab and Chopra is the medical director.

Ben L. Silberstein Institute for Brain Health

The Ben L. Silberstein Institute for Brain Health (IBH) will advance the understanding of the brain’s structure, chemistry and function as it relates to both disease and the promotion of health and well-being. It will accelerate and promote team interactional science through biomedical imaging platforms, neurogenetics, addiction and pain biology, post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma neurobiology, gerontology nanotechnology, neurodevelopment, targeting and reducing health care disparities, and innovative and novel diagnostic and treatment development.

“The Ben L. Silberstein Institute for Brain Health will bring together transdisciplinary, cross-campus neuroscience researchers, as well as combine undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral neuroscience education to focus on health equity and challenges related to brain and behavioral health in urban environments, particularly in Southeast Michigan and Detroit,” said David Rosenberg, co-director of IBH. “It is our goal to make a significant impact on promoting brain health by targeting and accelerating diagnostic and therapeutic advances for real-world childhood and adult-onset brain disorders impacting our community and beyond.”

IBH aims to be a leader in translational neurosciences and inspire the next generation of students and researchers to improve the health and care of individuals affected by psychiatric or neurological disorders or injuries in the nervous system. The institute will identify mechanisms promoting brain health as well as enhancing the understanding of disease mechanisms as it can related to enhanced diagnosis and treatment, ultimately aiding many with real-world childhood and adult-onset brain disorders.

“IBH will work with strategic partners and faculty across campus to improve lives through important research and community outreach that will provide diagnosis and new treatments for many psychiatric and brain disorders,” said Rosenberg. “By building a large collaborative team, we are now better able to facilitate the important work that needs to be done to help the lives of so many impacted by brain health issues.”

“Wayne State University is committed to improving the lives of our community and beyond, and through the Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases and the Ben L. Silberstein Institute for Brain Health, we are now well positioned to be a leader in Detroit for advancing research, technology development and education in these critical health areas,” said Stemmler. “Collaboration is a critical component of research, and these two institutes will be excellent examples of how bringing disciplines from across campus together can lead to groundbreaking discoveries that will improve lives.”




About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit




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[] Wayne State University announces creation of two research centers and institutes that aim to impact the health of Detroiters and beyond