RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, announced the winner of its Forethought Research Collaboration Challenge is a group of researchers working to combat the next pandemic. The winning team, led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will receive $5 million in seed funding to produce antiviral drugs for the future.

The work is already underway by the Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative, a collaboration co-founded by Carolina scientist Nat Moorman who led the winning team. The team represents UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University and RTI.

“From the beginning, this challenge was meant to create new partnerships between our top-tier research institutions and stimulate investment and growth in the Research Triangle region,” said Christy Shaffer, chair of the University Research Collaboration Committee and member of the RTI Board of Governors. “This proposal can achieve those aims and more, including having a potential global impact, which is why it stood out to the committee.”

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