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Kansas State University
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Manhattan, KS 66506
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Source: Gary Anderson, 785-532-4454, ganders@vet.k-state.edu
http://www.k-state.edu/media/mediaguide/bios/andersonbio.html
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415, kmayes@k-state.edu

Monday, May 4, 2009

K-STATE'S VETERINARY DIAGNOSTIC LAB TO SHOWCASE EXPANDED FACILITY, LATEST EQUIPMENT AT MAY 6 OPEN HOUSE

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is the first place scientists in the region would turn if there were an outbreak of avian flu, classical swine fever or any disease affecting animals. To meet that challenge, K-State has expanded and upgraded its molecular diagnostic capabilities.

To showcase the new facility and equipment, K-State's Veterinary Diagnostic Lab will have an open house at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 6, in the lab, 1800 Denison Ave., and at the College of Veterinary Medicine's Centennial Plaza.

Featured speakers will be Ralph Richardson, dean of K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine; Gary Anderson, director of the diagnostic lab; and Dan Thomson, K-State's Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology. They will explain the importance of this facility for veterinarians and producers in Kansas and across the U.S., and discuss the lab's future research program. Tours of the upgraded and expanded laboratory facilities will then be offered. The public is welcome.

"Some time ago we made a commitment to focus on molecular diagnostics because we believe it's essential for providing the very best service to our clients and it is necessary for high throughput disease surveillance programs," Anderson said. "This expansion of space, along with the latest equipment and additional resources, will allow us to embrace the latest technology and be prepared for rapidly emerging methods of molecular diagnostic testing.

To support this effort K-State turned to Applied Biosystems, a division of Life Technologies Corporation. Applied Biosystems, a global leader in developing molecular biology systems, reagents and other technologies, provided equipment and product support, which have allowed the lab to make major advances in the field of molecular diagnostics. Scientists around the world currently use Applied Biosystems' innovative instrument systems to accelerate academic and clinical research, drug discovery and development and pathogen detection studies related to human health and disease. Many of these same molecular biology systems and technologies are now being applied to help the animal health industry.

New equipment includes polymerase chain reaction commonly known as real-time PCR systems, which can assist scientists in performing rapid genetic analyses and detecting a broad range of infectious diseases. Several existing technologies and software also have been updated.

This capability also will allow K-State animal health researchers to develop their own diagnostic processes and new tests for pressing disease problems, Anderson said.

In addition, training sessions and modules for continuing education also will be developed, which means the K-State program will be responsible for training the next generation of veterinary diagnosticians.