Hands working on a medical device


Striving for Pandemic Preparedness —
The Alberta Research Consortium

The concept behind the logo is the destruction of a virus by a spark representing effective vaccines and antiviral drugs.

Enabling rapid responses to emerging pathogens

The University of Alberta has made substantial investments to support research and training in infectious diseases. The available resources have been instrumental in Alberta's scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of progress, it is evident that our preparedness for the next pandemic needs to be improved. The Government of Alberta awarded the University of Alberta a $55.1 M grant to develop a pandemic preparedness program. With this grant, scientists at the University of Alberta are building capacity in this area and founded SPP-ARC: Striving for Pandemic Preparedness – The Alberta Research Consortium.


To discover, develop, and assess vaccines and small molecule therapeutics for better protection against emerging pathogens.


To provide effective medical countermeasures as a first line of defense in outbreak situations with viruses of high epidemic potential.

A Pipeline Approach

Nobody can predict the time and/or nature of the next pandemic. So what can we do to prepare for the worst? SPP-ARC aims to create a home-grown pipeline for the development of vaccines and antiviral drugs against priority pathogens, such as coronaviruses and influenza viruses. The goal is to establish capabilities that enable rapid responses to emerging threats.

Research and Training

Pandemic preparedness requires ongoing, interdisciplinary research efforts and partnerships. SPP-ARC investigators cover a broad range of complementary expertise in the areas of virology, immunology, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry and structural biology. A comprehensive research program from discovery to manufacturing provides an ideal environment for the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP).

Enhancing Infrastructure

The establishment of a transformative structural biology core with a state-of-the-art Cryo-Electron Microscopy platform will support the design of vaccines and therapeutics. One of the largest Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) facilities in the country supports preclinical studies, and the Alberta Cell Therapy Manufacturing facility (ACTM) will provide fill-finish production capabilities.

SPP-ARC Events


SPP-ARC hosts an annual retreat as a means to bring internal members and external partners together to reflect on the past year's accomplishments and to establish research, infrastructure, and training objectives for the upcoming year. As we host our inaugural retreat from November 16-18th, 2023 at Banff Conference Centre for Arts and Creativity, this event provides opportunities to initiate team activities and create synergy among different research efforts within the consortium. 

Visit our Events page to hear about our upcoming scientific meetings, seminars, and retreats!

SPP-ARC Events

Become a Member

SPP-ARC is committed to supporting research into the development of vaccines and therapeutics against emerging pathogens with high epidemic potential. While the current focus is on viruses, the consortium is also considering bacteria especially in the broader context of antimicrobial resistance. Researchers at the University of Alberta that are interested in pandemic preparedness research wishing to apply for SPP-ARC membership can contact us directly for further application instructions.