- Associated Press - Saturday, April 12, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - A medical partnership between the University of Georgia and Emory University will be receiving at least $3.6 million in federal funding.

The money is part of an effort to advance understanding of influenza and improve pandemic preparedness.

Officials with the universities said this week the Emory-UGA Center of Excellence for Influenza and Surveillance would receive the funding, which could grow to $26.7 million over seven years.

The partnership between Emory and UGA was launched in 2007 as part of a network of national centers.

The Emory-UGA effort will focus on surveillance of swine influenza viruses and investigations of swine immune responses to virus infections.

The network of national centers has been credited with playing a key role in the nation’s response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.