3. Medical Biological Defense Research (United Kingdom)
Description: The Medical Biological Defense Research Program includes an international agreement for cooperative research for the development of an improved vaccine for the prevention of botulinum poisoning and for the development of effective treatment drugs.
Justification: Botulinum toxin, a recognized biological threat agent, is one of the deadliest neurotoxins known to man. The toxin prevents the release of acetylcholine and produces nerve cell dysfunction. The cause of death is usually respiratory paralysis, due to the blockage of transmitter release from the phrenic nerve to the diaphragm muscles. The Imperial College of Science and Technology, United Kingdom, is an international leader in the area of functional and structural analysis of botulinum toxin binding to cholinergic nerves.
Dr. Rodney Smith
Army Materiel Command
5001 Eisenhower Blvd
Alexandria, VA 22333-0001