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K-State Preparing to Share Expertise With Bioscientists

OLATHE, Kan., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Aided by the Kansas Bioscience Authority, Kansas State University is gearing up to go national with specialized training programs that will keep research laboratories safe and secure -- so Americans can continue enjoying the benefits of cutting-edge, world-class research to combat infectious diseases.

Bioscience research and industry have grown significantly in recent years, leading to unprecedented demand for biosafety and biocontainment training, according to Tom Thornton, president of the KBA.

"Kansas is positioned to capture a large piece of the training market with the unique combination of expertise and facilities available at K-State's state-of-the-art Biosecurity Research Institute," Thornton said. "In fact, the demand has come knocking at our door."

Because of its research and training capabilities, the BRI recently was selected to host the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, which recognizes the BRI as a designated training facility for operations and maintenance training. Kansas is also one of five finalists for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility with its proposed site at K-State.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts said K-State lab training programs will help keep researchers and their communities safe.

"In Kansas, we know very well the risks of diseases attacking our crops, our livestock, and even human health, and we also know a great deal about safe and secure research to combat those diseases," Roberts said. "Now we will have the chance to share our expertise broadly and benefit the entire country."

The KBA is supporting the new Biosecurity Research Institute Training and Education Program with more than $1.5 million in funding, which will equip an integrated training suite with high-resolution video and audio equipment for transmission to training rooms and recordings. The BRI also has a lecture hall and other learning facilities.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said, "With this investment, Kansas continues to build our reputation as a leader in biosecurity, yet another aspect of bioscience to which we are strongly committed."

About the KBA

The Kansas Bioscience Authority is a $581-million initiative created by the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to expand the state's world-class research capacity and bioscience clusters; support the growth of bioscience startups; and stimulate bioscience business expansion and attraction.

SOURCE Kansas Bioscience Authority
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