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

h threats by leveraging multidisciplinary expertise. The initiative will allow academic, federal-agency and nonprofit researchers to collaborate with K-State scientists to perform research not possible at their home institutions.

Ron Trewyn, K-State's vice president for research, said the CBRI will provide up to $500,000 to investigators conducting projects in partnership with researchers at the university's Biosecurity Research Institute.

"The research horsepower leveraged by this initiative will enable K-State and our collaborators to play a critical role in protecting our nation from high-consequence biological threats," Trewyn said. "And we will now be able to take the one-of-a-kind facility we have in the Biosecurity Research Institute to the broader scientific community."

K-State's BRI is a state-of-the-art facility where investigators can address threats requiring BSL-3 and BSL-3Ag biocontainment. The BRI functional cores include: animal rooms for research on infectious diseases of livestock and poultry (holding up to 32 eight-hundred pound cattle and more smaller species); food processing space; plant science research laboratories for the development of plant-based vaccines; and insect vector and basic molecular biology laboratories.

According to U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the combination of Kansas' enormous agriculture industry and longstanding expertise in zoonotic disease research makes the state a natural leader in the effort to prevent and fight agro-terrorism.

"We put the food on America's dinner table, so we take the responsibility of protecting the families around that table very seriously," Roberts said.

Further, Kansas House Speaker Melvin Neufeld said the CBRI advances the important work envisioned for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).

"Kansas State University is one of six sites under consideration for the NBAF, and initiatives like
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SOURCE Kansas State University
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