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News release prepared by: Greg Tammen, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Monday, June 28, 2010

DIRECTOR OF FOREIGN ANIMAL DISEASE DIAGNOSTIC LAB AT PLUM ISLAND OUTLINES HOPES FOR NBAF IN PRESENTATION AT K-STATE'S CEEZAD KICK-OFF MEETING

MANHATTAN -- William "Bill" White, director of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, New York, said he hopes one of the outcomes from the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility at Kansas State University will be to perfect pen-side tests that would allow medical professionals to determine if farm animals are susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease.

"We want to continue to develop and validate new diagnostic tests that will allow us to maintain a cutting-edge profile," White said at Monday's kick-off for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, or CEEZAD, at K-State.

The meeting included presentations by top experts in zoonotic diseases from around the world, including White and K-State's Juergen Richt, Regents Distinguished Professor in K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine and a Kansas Bioscience Authority Eminent Scholar.

The Department of Homeland Security is replacing the Plum Island facility with the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF, at K-State.

At the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, White leads a team of nearly 50 employees at the only facility in the United States allowed to work with the foot-and-mouth disease virus. His team diagnoses foreign animal diseases both domestically and internationally. The facility’s collaborations include working with medical officials in the Philippines on the Ebola-Reston virus; the Porcine teschovirus and new disease outbreaks in Haiti; lumpy skin disease in Afghanistan and Pakistan; as well as partnerships with Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Dominican Republic, Congo and Mongolia. White also has worked on bioforensics with the FBI.

Videos of presentations from the meeting will be available online at http://www.vet.k-state.edu/CE/2010/ei.htm.