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Expert on Emerging Infectious Zoonotic Diseases Joining K-State as a Regents Distinguished Professor
Date:8/31/2007

infectious diseases such as avian influenza," Richardson said.

Richt received a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Munich, and a doctorate in veterinary virology from the University of Giessen in Germany under the guidance of the late Dr. Rudolf Rott, considered one of the most eminent veterinary virologists of the last century. Richt's postdoctoral studies were conducted at Johns Hopkins University from 1989 to 1991.

In 1991, he returned to the Institute of Virology at the University of Giessen's College of Veterinary Medicine and established an independent and well-funded research program in molecular virology. Richt moved to the U.S. in 2000 to work as a veterinary medical officer at the National Animal Diseases Center, a federally-funded laboratory with broad goals similar to those of K- State's animal health and food safety and security programs. At the federal center, Richt worked in two areas: emerging viral diseases of swine and prion diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also called BSE or mad cow disease. He was the first in the U.S. to describe "atypical" BSE cases.

Richt has developed novel diagnostic tests to detect major swine respiratory pathogens, as well as developing novel vaccination concepts against flu viruses. He also has studied the interspecies transmission of prion agents. Because of his research expertise, he has begun rapidly moving into the field of animal influenza research and is being recognized for his understanding of avian/swine/human viral transmission.

As a Regents professor, Richt said he plans to establish a new research program at K-State's Biosecurity Research Institute. The opportunity, he said, was a major factor in his decision to come to K-State.

"K-State's commitment to working on major livestock diseases is tremendously important for both the agricultural community and national security," Richt said. "I am looking forward to contributing to the scientific e
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SOURCE Kansas State University
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