College of Veterinary Medicine alumnus gives gift of lab space to Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases
Thursday, May 28, 2015
MANHATTAN — Kelly Lechtenberg, Oakland, Nebraska, CEO of Midwest Veterinary Services and Central States Research Centre of Oakland, has provided a sustaining annual gift of biosecurity level-2 laboratory space for use by the new Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University.
The interdisciplinary research center has a mission to combat vector-borne diseases with a focus on pathogenesis, surveillance and disease prevention.
A Kansas State University alumnus, Lechtenberg earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987 and a doctorate in 1988.
"Dr. Lechtenberg is a wonderful person who is making a big difference in supporting the center," said Roman Ganta, professor and director of the center. "We will use this facility to maintain a sustainable K-State Tick Rearing Facility, which is part of the new center. This facility is already in progress and its goals include supporting K-State faculty research focused on ticks. It also will serve as a one-of-a-kind resource for tick researchers at other academic institutions and industry."
"We are pleased to assist Dr. Ganta and his team in continuing their very important work with vector-borne diseases," Lechtenberg said. "Roman and the rest of the Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases team are passionate about their work and have an urgency of mission that makes this project bound for success. I am confident that we will see this team contribute greatly to our knowledge of disease transmission and be instrumental in developing interventions that make outdoor life safer for people, their pets and the livestock entrusted to their care."
"Dr. Lechtenberg has a long history of generously supporting programs and facilities in the college," said Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. "He truly understands the research mission and what it takes to succeed in achieving long-term goals. This gift relieves a huge burden on the college and university in trying to secure the necessary space to help our programs to grow. We cannot thank him enough for helping to make this happen."
The center is active in developing a network to build research programs focused on tick and other vector-borne diseases of importance to human and animal diseases, including foreign animal diseases, to promote strong collaborations among Kansas State University faculty who have shared interests, as well as faculty and researchers at other academic institutions and industry in the U.S. and abroad.