Stephen Higgs

Director, Biosecurity Research Institute
Associate vice president for research
University distinguished professor
Virginia and Perry Peine biosecurity chair

Stephen HiggsStephen Higgs, an infectious disease expert with international research experience, became the director of Kansas State's Biosecurity Research Institute in July 2011. He is responsible for expanding the institute's biosafety, biosecurity and biocontainment research and education programs.

Higgs also serves as associate vice president for research, facilitating bio-preparedness research campuswide, is a university distinguished professor, and holds the Virginia and Perry Peine biosecurity chair in the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Biosecurity Research Institute, known as the BRI, is located in Pat Roberts Hall and is a biosafety level-3 and biosafety level-3 ag facility that studies infectious diseases affecting the food supply.

Higgs, whose particular research interests are mosquito-virus-vertebrate interactions, is an expert in vector biology, arthropod-borne infectious diseases, immune modulation and vaccine evaluation. He is experienced in developing collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects and has organized training in biocontainment facilities for researchers from other universities and other countries. He came to K-State from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he was a professor in the department of pathology and director of the biosafety level-3 insectary. He also is editor-in-chief of the international journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

Higgs earned a doctorate in parasitology from Reading University in the United Kingdom and a bachelor of science with honors in zoology from King's College in London. He was involved in training and research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and at the Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology, Oxford, in the United Kingdom before coming to the United States in 1991.

He can be contacted at 785-532-1333 or shiggs@k-state.edu.