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Leading Scientists From Around the World Headed to Kansas for Symposium on Combating Deadly Infectious Diseases
Date:11/13/2008

OLATHE, Kan., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In yet another sign of Kansas' leadership in addressing global challenges in the animal and human health sectors, an estimated 150 scientists from around the globe are coming together this week at Kansas State University for an international symposium on zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

On Nov. 13-14, researchers and clinicians from as far away as Japan, Israel, The Netherlands, Italy, France, and Scotland will focus on increasing the interaction between medical, veterinary, academic, and government institutions to ensure early detection and prevention capability to combat animal diseases that could eventually jump to people.

Symposium organizer Dr. Juergen A. Richt of K-State said improved cross-sector collaboration in animal and human health was urgently needed in light of the seriousness of emerging global disease threats.

"Events in the last decade have taught us that we are, now, more than ever before vulnerable to fatal zoonotic diseases," said Richt. "It is imperative that future research activities focus on solutions to these problems arising at the interphase between animals and humans."

Richt is a KBA eminent scholar and Kansas Regents distinguished professor who moved to K-State this year after a seven-year tenure as a lead scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Disease Center.

KBA president Tom Thornton said Richt's symposium highlights Kansas' expertise in protecting the food supply, agriculture economy, and human health.

"Our research expertise, our world-class infrastructure, such as the Biosecurity Research Institute, and our selection as a finalist for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility demonstrate our deep commitment to addressing global bioscience challenges," Thornton said. "Today, we proudly support Dr. Richt's work to bring scientific leaders together for an effective 'one medicine, one health' approach to defeating dangerous pathogens facing both animals and humans. This is a critically important goal."

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


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SOURCE Kansas Bioscience Authority
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