The federal government has unveiled PrioNet, its new Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) for prion research. The announcement comes 19 months after Budget 2004 allocated $35 million over seven years for the initiative to combat bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and other transmissible spongiform encephalo-pathies (TSE) such as variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease. PrioNet brings nearly every prion researcher together within one virtual organization, led by scientific director Dr Neil Cashman and network administrator Ying Gravel. The NCE will establish a laboratory infrastructure including biocontainment laboratories and the Brain Research Centre at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, PrioNet’s administrative headquarters. PrioNet will also partner with the Alberta Prion Research Institute, which was awarded $38 million by the Alberta government earlier this year (R$, November 25/05). Although PrioNet was the only candidate for an NCE focussed on BSE and TSE, it was subject to standard NCE review and will undergo a mid-term review in its fourth year to ensure that it is fulfilling its mandate….