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Cleveland Clinic Florida opens research center with focus on infectious diseases, cancer

This location will be used to find critically needed treatments and vaccines for diseases like COVID-19.
Credit: Cleveland Clinic

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — As the world continues in the fight against COVID-19, the Cleveland Clinic has a new research center in Florida that will focus on several medical issues from cancer to infectious diseases like the coronavirus.

The Clinic’s Florida Research and Innovation Center is a 107,000-square foot facility that features “biosafety level 3 facilities for work with infectious agents.”

This location will be closely integrated with the Cleveland Clinic’s new Center for Global and Emerging Pathogens Research with some of the world’s top research experts in virology, immunology, genomics and population health to find critically needed treatments and vaccines, according to Clinic officials.

“The researchers will also collaborate with drug developers at Lerner Research Institute’s Center for Therapeutics Discovery to more rapidly move discoveries out of the laboratory and into the clinic for patient care,” Clinic officials said.

The Florida Research and Innovation Center is headed by Scientific Director Michaela Gack, Ph.D., who joined Cleveland Clinic Florida in July 2020. Previously, she was a professor in the Department of Microbiology and chair of the Committee on Microbiology at The University of Chicago in Chicago, Ill.

“Gack, a renowned virologist, has an extensive background in microbiology and infectious disease,” officials said. “Her research focuses on the immune system’s response to viruses, an essential step in developing safe and effective antivirals and vaccines. She has also done extensive research on immune evasion by Dengue, Influenza and Zika viruses.”

Credit: Cleveland Clinic

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