Skip to content Skip to navigation

NIH Funds New Center at Johns Hopkins for Real-Time Flu Tracking

May 8, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a contract to researchers at the Baltimore, Md.-based Johns Hopkins University to launch a new center devoted to developing innovative ways to identify and track influenza viruses worldwide.

A high priority for the Johns Hopkins center is to develop better ways to rapidly identify which circulating influenza virus strains are robust enough to infect large numbers of people and cause serious, widespread illness, said Andrew Pekosz, Ph.D.,  Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, who will co-direct the new center.

To that end, the Johns Hopkins’ Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) team plans to track human influenza virus strains in the U.S. and Taiwan as part of an effort build a database of influenza cases in real time from hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

The data will be stored in a central, cloud-based computer network so that researchers across the CEIRS network can access the information for their own projects and share insights and findings from across the country and around the world.

Under terms of the contract from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins will be one of only five institutions in the U.S. to be a part of CEIRS, and the institutions in the CEIRS network will pursue independent research projects collaborate on others.

The center staff will also analyze genetic characteristics of influenza viruses and use genome sequencing technologies on viruses collected for the database. Pekosz notes that a storehouse of such information could aid vaccine manufacturers in developing vaccines that better protect against circulating seasonal strains and give public health agencies and drug makers more lead time to prepare for a potential emerging pandemic.

Read the source article at



OSU Wexner Medical Center Receives AHIMA Grace Award

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) received the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) annual Grace Award in recognition of its leadership in health information management.

Kansas Health Information Network Expands its Network across State Lines

The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) has announced that it is expanding its horizons, and is now connected to Health Information Exchange Texas (HIETexas).

CMS Selects Vendor to Modernize Critical Identity Infrastructure

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week announced it had selected San Francisco-based vendor Okta to enhance the security of its information systems.

Mayo Clinic, ASU Partner for Medical Education, Healthcare Innovation

The Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University have announced a partnership centered on transforming medical education and healthcare in the U.S. through a variety of innovation efforts.

CMS Hospital Compare Website Updated with VA Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the inclusion of Veterans Administration (VA) hospital performance data as part of the federal agency’s Hospital Compare website.

CMS Awards Funding to Special Innovation Projects

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded 20, two-year Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) aimed at local efforts to deliver better care at lower cost.