RTI International has won a 1.2 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research into early detection of diseases outbreaks.

The grant covers three years.

RTI will work to “develop and refine” standard terminology for use by physicians and public health officials in identifying and reporting outbreaks. The grant is part of the federally funded BioSense Initiative designed to improve early detection of disease outbreaks.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and state public health officials will also be involved in the project, RTI said.

“We presently have a number of medical surveillance and reporting systems that provide a wealth of information to public health officials,” said Scott Wetterhall, RTI’s principal investigator for the project. “The challenge is to make that information more useful in detecting disease outbreaks earlier by standardizing the definitions and terminology that signal health threats to the population.”

RTI: www.rti.org