Stephen Higgs

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

Stephen Higgs

Stephen Higgs, an infectious disease expert with international research experience, became the director of Kansas State's Biosecurity Research Institute, or BRI, in July 2011. He is responsible for oversight, coordination and expansion of the institute's multidisciplinary research and education programs.

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

The BRI is a secure biosafety level-3 and biosafety level-3 ag facility at Pat Roberts Hall. It enables studies on diseases that impact the global food supply, including those affecting humans, livestock and plants as well as food-borne pathogens. Collaborative research, education and training is conducted at the BRI by faculty and staff from multiple departments, federal agencies and industry.

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 has published more than 140 peer-reviewed papers and 16 book chapters, and has been a member of numerous national and international research program review panels. He is a fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Royal Entomological Society. He also is editor-in-chief of the international journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, and an editorial board member of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice and Science.

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.