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Source: Ron Trewyn, 785-532-5110, trewyn@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.kclifesciences.org/
Photos available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-2535.
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-2535, bbohn@k-state.edu

Monday, Aug. 9, 2010

KANSAS CITY SYMPOSIUM ON NATIONAL BIOSECURITY EFFORTS FEATURES SEVERAL K-STATE EXPERTS

MANHATTAN -- A national biosecurity symposium Monday, Aug. 30, in Kansas City, Mo., will showcase biosecurity research and industry at Kansas State University and the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.

"Biosecurity: Our Regional and National Response" will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kansas City Convention Center. National and regional experts will discuss the challenges in protecting the nation's animal agriculture, food supply and public health against biological threats and diseases. The symposium, in conjunction with the Central Veterinary Conference Kansas City, is sponsored by the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor and the veterinary programs at K-State and the University of Missouri.

Biosecurity and bioscience research are finding a home on the plains. According to Business Facilities magazine, Manhattan rates second in the nation for economic growth potential because the city and K-State will be the site of the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility. Also known as NBAF, the facility will be the premier federal lab for tackling diseases threatening the nation's agricultural economy and food supply. In addition, the magazine also ranked the state of Kansas fifth in the nation in biotechnology strength, citing NBAF and the animal health research programs at K-State as among the reasons for the high ranking.

Keynote speakers at the symposium include K-State's Jerry and Nancy Jaax, who will present "Lessons From the Hot Zone" at 1:15 p.m. The Jaaxes are veterinarians who worked for more than 20 years in federal biosecurity labs at Frederick, Md. They were key participants in dealing with the 1989 Reston Ebola outbreak, which was detailed in Richard Preston's best-selling book, "The Hot Zone." Jerry Jaax is K-State associate vice president for research compliance and university veterinarian; Nancy Jaax is an adjunct professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

Biosecurity research safety, and zoonotic diseases and their effect on public health will be the topics of presentations by K-State's Scott Rusk and Juergen Richt.

Rusk, director of Pat Roberts Hall, the home of K-State's Biosecurity Institute, will present "Biosecurity Research Institute: Capabilities and its Role in the Plum Island Facility Transition Plan," from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m.

Richt's presentation, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., will be "Walk the Talk: CEEZAD (Center of Excellence for Emerging Zoonotic Animals Diseases). Richt is a Regents Distinguished Professor in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at K-State and director of CEEZAD. One Health is a national collaborative effort of multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

Additional speakers include Larry Barrett, director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Plum Island Animal Disease Center, which NBAF will replace; and Barbara S. Drolet, a research microbiologist and acting research leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, which is moving to Manhattan. Drolet also is an adjunct professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at K-State.

Registration and more information on the symposium are available at http://www.kclifesciences.org/.