Welcome from the Director of the FR3
Letter from the Director
The Filariasis Research Reagent Resource Center (FR3), formerly known as the Filariasis Repository, was first funded by the NIAID/NIH in 1968. The overall objective of the FR3 has been to facilitate and stimulate research in filarial diseases. Filarial parasites have complex life cycles and must be experimentally maintained by alternate passage through mammalian definitive hosts and arthropod vectors. Filariasis research, however, requires collection of large numbers of parasites; and methods of in vitro culture are severely limited. The FR3 has served as a unique supply source of filarial research materials, and technical information, for investigators who are not able to cyclically maintain these parasites; and as a backup facility for investigators who experience difficulties maintaining their own life cycles. Originally, the FR3 offered five filarial parasites (Brugia malayi, B. pahangi, Dirofilaria immitis, Litomosoides sigmodontis and Acanthocheilonema viteae) to its users, but over time this number was reduced to three species (B. malayi, B. pahangi and D. immitis) based on investigator needs and limiting funds.
The FR3 now has three operational locations. The University of Georgia location, headed by myself and co-PI Ray Kaplan, is the administrative center of the FR3, and conducts parasite maintenance. The Molecular Resource Center of the FR3, maintained by Dr. Steve Williams, offers molecular and serological resources through Smith College. The Communication Center, at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh under the direction of Dr. Shelly Michalski, is chiefly involved with maintaining the FR3 website and facilitating communication between the FR3 and its users. As a body, the FR3 is overseen by a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) composed of three independent filariasis researchers that advise the FR3 and NIAID on the changing needs of the scientific community for research materials, and on the prioritization of molecular, biologic and /or genomic acquisitions as they become available. The SAC members serve approximately three-year terms and meet with FR3 administrators and the NIAID project officer annually during the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting. We at the FR3 look forward to continuing to serve filariasis researchers worldwide, and to maintaining our high level of service by responding to the needs of the filariasis research community. Please contact us with your comments, questions and concerns.
Andrew Moorhead, DVM, PhD.
Director, Filariasis Research Reagent Resource Center
Associate Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602