Sealy Center for Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases

Center Mission

The Sealy Center for Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases will enhance vector-borne research efforts in the U.S. and worldwide as well will leverage CREATE-NEO’s vast network of partnerships to offer basic training in vector handling and rearing, virus identification and characterization, as well as establish exchange training programs for physicians and basic researchers in vector borne and zoonotic infectious diseases.


Center Goals

  • Enhance the scientific expertise and infrastructure of vector-borne and zoonotic research in the tropics. Among CREATE-NEO’s primary roles is to develop capacity as well as develop robust protocols for data acquisition and storage, based on the “ALCOA” principles for documentation (attributable, legible, contemporaneous, original, accurate), for which we have partnered with UTMB’s Office of Regulated Nonclinical Studies (ORNcS).
  • Enhance synergy between the Center, IHII, CTD, Galveston National Laboratory (GNL), Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (CBEID), McLaughlin Endowment, and Institute of Translational Sciences (ITS) investigators and CREATE-NEO and international partners. SCVeZooDis synergies exist within UTMB basic science and clinical departments, e.g. BMB, M&I, Neurology, Dermatology, Infectious Diseases and Endocrinology.
  • Establish complimentary seminar series by inviting four subject matter experts of national and international stature.
  • Facilitate opportunities for research and biosafety training, synergistic partnerships, and funding by offering affiliation to UTMB faculty with synergistic interests and research portfolio to the Center’s stated mission and goals.
  • Facilitate strategic international expansion of basic, applied and clinical research in vector borne infectious diseases in tandem with existing programs. Leveraging CREATE-NEO’s partnerships in the Republic of Panama, Brazil and Malaysia, the Center will develop strategic partnerships with institutions in Ecuador, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and England.
  • Integrate with existing Infectious Diseases programs (e.g. IHII, McLaughlin Endowment), Global Health education and service programs to offer mentorship and stipends for up to three graduate students interested in national and preferably international vector-borne infectious disease research.
  • Promote the implementation of research discoveries that will impact the health of people in the USA and the tropics.
  • Promote vector-borne and zoonotic diseases education outreach in the community and beyond.
  • Stimulate the development of new research initiatives in strategic areas of infectious diseases that link basic and clinical research through our Pilot and Data Acquisition Grant Program on Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. The program provides resources to build the Center’s capacity to compete for major funding initiatives available now or anticipated from federal, industry and philanthropic sponsors.