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K-State Today

June 21, 2012



Plant pathology to provide graduate biocontainment training opportunity at the Biosecurity Research Institute today

By Andrea Lo

The department of plant pathology will conduct a training event for graduate students at the Biosecurity Research Institute, or BRI, today. This is an opportunity for plant pathology students to experience aspects of their discipline that are outside the scope of their normal laboratory training and curriculum.  

This year, the department has developed a one-day class that will cover the theoretical and practical issues associated with plant biosecurity. Students will first be trained on biocontainment principles and procedures in the BRI’s Integrated Training Laboratory Suite, learning proper biosafety techniques and procedures, use of biosafety cabinets and use of laboratory equipment common to biocontainment. The hands-on training session will be followed by the students entering a fully operational biocontainment laboratory and follow all biocontainment protocols to practice authentic research procedures. 

Instructors will include Vicki Wohlers, the state plant health director, and Craig Webb, both from the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Plant Protection and Quarantine; Jon Appel, Kansas Department of Agriculture plant pathologist; Jim Stack, professor of plant pathology at K-State; and Christian Cruz, K-State doctoral student in plant pathology.

This opportunity provides students with applicable insights to the full spectrum of studying pathogens of crops and other plants.