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The Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR), located in San Antonio Texas, is one of the nation’s leading independent research institutions, specializing in genetics, and in virology and immunology. It was founded in 1941 by Thomas B. Slick, Jr. as a philanthropic endeavor. SFBR is sustained by government and corporate grants and contracts, and donations from the public.[1]

Quick Facts:

• Located on a 332-acre campus on the northwest side of San Antonio.

• 75 doctoral level biomedical scientists, including 28 principal investigators.

• More than 200 research projects.

• 400 staff members.


Specialized Resources:

• The Southwest National Primate Research Center [2], a part of SFBR, is an international resource that provides specialized facilities and expertise in research with nonhuman primates to investigators from around the US and other countries. It maintains 4,000 nonhuman primates.

• SFBR maintains the only privately owned Biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory in the United States. It develops bioterrorism defenses and novel strategies against incurable infectious diseases.

• SFBR’s AT&T Genomics Computing Center, "the world's largest computer cluster devoted to statistical genetic analysis," helps scientists find genes that influence susceptibility to diseases at record speed.


Among SFBR’s Many Accomplishments:

• Developed high frequency ventilator to rescue premature babies from death or lifelong disabilities.

• Played key role in developing the current hepatitis B vaccine now administered in 116 countries.

• Identified genes that influence heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other common health problems.

• Developed vaccines, antibodies and antitoxins for deadly agents of bioterrorism such as Ebola, botulinum neurotoxins, and anthrax.

• Developed promising hormone-derived therapies with potential to treat breast and prostate cancer.

• Developed invaluable animal models for research on cancer, heart disease, obesity, AIDS, and hepatitis among other public health problems that afflict millions around the globe.

• Created methods to diagnose infections with herpes B virus, which is lethal to humans.


Some of SFBR’s Current Research Projects:

• Investigating genetic and dietary factors that have major roles in influencing susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

• Evaluating novel approaches to curing hepatitis C, which infects three percent of the world’s population and is the leading cause of liver failure in the US.

• Developing vaccine strategies for Ebola, AIDS, Lassa fever, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis viruses, and herpes.

• Genetically characterizing the parasites which cause malaria and schistosomiasis, with the common goal of developing more effective drugs and disease control strategies for these global health problems.

• Studying genetic determinants of susceptibility to Chagas disease and intestinal worm infections in order to come up with novel strategies for these diseases common in the developing world.

• Studying ways of preventing or treating diseases caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus, and dengue virus.

Memberships include: Association of Independent Research Institutes, Research!America, Scientists Center for Animal Welfare, BioMed SA

See also

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