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Collaborative Biosecurity Research Initiative Launched to Target Animal and Public Health Threats Nationally
Date:1/15/2008

OLATHE, Kan., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Kansas Bioscience Authority has launched a $2.5 million initiative to bring together researchers nationwide to create products that protect Americans from the intentional use of animal-borne diseases to disrupt the national economy or to infect humans.

The goals of the new Collaborative Biosecurity Research Initiative (CBRI) are to support interinstitutional research to: (1) develop countermeasures for foreign-animal diseases; (2) provide advanced test and evaluation capability for threat detection, vulnerability, and countermeasure assessment for animal and zoonotic diseases; (3) support licensure of vaccine countermeasures through essential animal-model testing and evaluation; and (4) strengthen biosecurity capabilities of institutions serving certain regions and populations, such as students underrepresented in biosecurity research.

Agricultural and food infrastructure is a key component of U.S. economic productivity and growth, accounting for 12 percent of the nation's gross domestic product ($1.24 trillion) and representing one in six jobs in direct or related employment.

KBA president Tom Thornton said a deliberate assault, such as a terrorist attack, or a natural outbreak, could damage the public trust in agricultural safety and the national ability to provide food and other agricultural products.

"We're issuing a call today for the nation's brightest researchers to partner with us to protect public health and safeguard the agriculture economy," Thornton said. "Our facilities are highly specialized and world-class, and our scientists are doing world-class research. Now is the time for collaboration to take on this important national challenge."

The CBRI will introduce the unique biosecurity research capabilities and facilities at Kansas State University to investigators nationally and develop strategic alliances to promptly confront animal and public healt
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SOURCE Kansas State University
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